Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman left Canada’s World Baseball Classic win over Colombia Tuesday after only three innings, suffering a right hamstring injury.
Freeman was 0-for-2 in Canada’s third game of the tournament on Tuesday, including a foul pop out to third base in the top of the third inning. Freeman stayed in the game on defense for the bottom of the frame, but was removed from the game after that.
Freddie Freeman left today's game with a slight hamstring injury pic.twitter.com/zpr0TtJzYL— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 14, 2023
Canada manager Ernie Witt said he doesn’t “foresee” Freddie Freeman being in the lineup against Mexico tomorrow.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) March 14, 2023
Witt said Freeman felt tightness in his hamstring in his last swing of his second at-bat.
"...I don't foresee Freddie being in (the lineup) for tomorrow. We're waiting from the doctors to see what they say and also the Dodgers. Again, that's the most important thing is his health.— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) March 14, 2023
Without knowing the extent of the injury, it’s unknown how this might affect Freeman’s readiness for opening day, which is 16 days away at Dodger Stadium. But Freeman missing any time could create a domino effect in the Dodgers infield.
Max Muncy has extensive history at first base, but he’s now the regular third baseman. Miguel Vargas was mostly a third baseman in the minors, but is expected to be the regular second baseman this season. Vargas has played a little more first base (32 starts in the majors and minors combined) than at second base (27 starts). Moving either one would open a hole elsewhere.
Other than Freeman, the Dodgers who have started at first base this spring training are Michael Busch (six starts) — who was optioned to the minors on Monday — and non-roster invitees Devin Mann (three starts) and Ryan Ward (one start).
Freeman has been exceedingly durable, missing only nine games in the last five seasons. Since the start of 2018, the first baseman leads the majors in games played (698), and last year with the Dodgers started each of the first 141 games, only sitting out after they clinched the National League West. Six of Freeman’s nine games missed in the last five seasons came after his team clinched the division.
The last time Freeman missed time on the injured list was in 2017 with Atlanta, when he missed 44 games with a non-displaced list wrist fracture.