Checkin' in with Merissa Lynn: Braves midseason injuries - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Midseason injuries plague Braves heading into ASG

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Freddie Freeman talks to FOX 5's Ken Rodriguez after returning home to Turner Field Wednesday night (photo by Cody Chaffins/FOX 5). Freddie Freeman talks to FOX 5's Ken Rodriguez after returning home to Turner Field Wednesday night (photo by Cody Chaffins/FOX 5).
How badly do the Braves need this All-Star break coming up? They've suffered four injuries in their final series before the week off, and BJ Upton has been placed on the disabled list.
 
And now to top it off, after a record-setting number of votes (19.7 million of them!) in the All-Star Fan Vote, Freddie Freeman won't even play in the All-Star Game. He injured his thumb during the first inning of Saturday's game against the Reds trying to tag a runner out.
 
To top THAT off, Brian McCann will replace Freeman on the NL roster. No, not Dodgers star Yasiel Puig-– he's hurt, too. NL manager Bruce Bochy wanted a catcher, so he went with McCann, who was named the MVP of the ASG back in 2010. Apparently, Bochy hasn't forgotten that is was because of McCann that the Giants had the home field advantage during their World Series run that year. That's why he chose McCann. It'll be his seventh appearance in the All-Star Game.
 
The ending to this first half of the season was bizarre to say the least. The beginning of the first half? Well, that was amazing. The Braves started off their 2013 campaign 12-1. They ended the first half of the season 6-7.
 
The injuries just go to show you how grueling the wear-and-tear the MLB can be on players' bodies. It's a long season, but this break came at just the right time for the Braves.
               
Now for the second half of the season, can the Braves stay healthy enough to make a playoff run? They certainly have the depth to do so. They have the offensive power, too. El Oso Blanco is back, too. Will we see the home runs from Justin Upton again like the start of the season? A lot of unanswered questions, but a lot of positives for this Braves squad, too.
 
Even manager Fredi Gonzalez is pleased with the first half of the season, despite losing seven of their last 13 games – including two to the last place Marlins.
 
"We lost a lot of key players," said Gonzalez after Sunday's 8-4 loss to the Reds. "The guys who stepped in did a terrific job for us. You feel good that we had a chance. Even today, we hit the ball hard. Anytime your back is up against it like we were, and the other guys respond, you feel good about your club."
 
If anything heading into the next half this season for the Braves, the kinds of injuries we've seen in the last week have to be limited toward the end of the second half. Better now, than later-– I suppose.
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