Freddie Freeman will not win this year’s MVP award, but that shouldn’t discredit the incredible season he’s been having.
He is on pace to set career highs in batting average, hits, total bases, on base percentage, OPS+, wRC+, rWAR and fWAR over the course of a full-length season. He has already set a new career high for runs scored, stolen bases, and doubles, the latter of which he broke a 94-year-old record for the most doubles in a single season by a Dodger.
Freeman has never been regarded for his speed, judging by the 53 stolen bases he had during his 12-year tenure with the Atlanta Braves. Freeman has already stolen 33 bases in just two seasons with the Dodgers, with his most recent one being his 20th of the season against the Detroit Tigers on Monday. It is the first time in his career that he has a 20 home run/20 stolen base season.
With that stolen base, Freeman has created an elite class where he stands alone, as he is the first and only player in Major League Baseball history to hit at least 25 home runs, hit at least 55 doubles, and steal at least 20 bases in the same season.
Freddie Freeman is the first player in MLB history with 25+ HRs, 55+ doubles and 20+ stolen bases in the same season pic.twitter.com/Hyd7JEKzCr— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) September 19, 2023
Freeman admits that he isn’t by any means a speed demon, far from the caliber of all time base stealers Rickey Henderson and Lou Brock, nevertheless, he has expressed a desire to maintain his current stolen base numbers, as Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times writes:
“This is one thing I never thought I’d do in my career, so it was pretty cool,” said Freeman... First basemen usually aren’t speed demons. Like, my dad just texted me, he goes, ‘Fast enough.’ The Freemans aren’t known to be very fast. But I just try to pick the right situations to go. I do keep myself in OK shape to run, so hopefully I can keep doing this for a little bit.”
The new 18” bases have overwhelmingly helped Freeman reach this milestone, as he posted a then-career high of 13 stolen bases last season with the old 15” bases. With a sprint speed ranking in the 35th percentile, the odds of Freeman having consecutive 20/20 seasons aren’t heavy in his favor.
As the trade deadline came to a finale, the Dodgers had a deal in place to acquire Tigers starter Eduardo Rodriguez, but the deal was nixed by the lefty, opting to stay close to his family rather than playing on the opposite coast. Rodriguez took the mound Monday night at Dodger Stadium and was rudely greeted by former Red Sox teammate J.D. Martinez’s two home runs before exiting in the fourth inning with a scapular injury.
Martinez shared his thoughts on the rejected trade, explaining how he felt no animosity towards Rodriguez’s decision, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times:
“Nah,” Martinez said. “You know, everyone makes their decisions, everyone’s got their choices, why they did it. He texted me [afterward] and apologized. It was a family decision. I get it, man, he’s got to do what he has to do. We wanted him here, but it is what it is. … He’s a good guy, no hard feelings toward him.”
Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register tweets a video of Daniel Hudson throwing to live hitters prior to Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Tigers.
Hudson has been mired by knee injuries this season, limiting him to just three innings pitched. It’s a step in the right direction for Hudson to be facing live hitters, however, he previously expressed doubt in returning to the bullpen for the remainder of the season.
The postseason is still two weeks away, but the race for the NL MVP might have already finished. Jim Bowden of The Athletic released his awards predictions for this season, naming Ronald Acuña Jr. as the favorite to win MVP ahead of Mookie Betts.
Yency Almonte has been inactive since mid-August due to a right knee injury, and the chances of him returning to the bullpen before the regular season concludes are slim, per Luca Evans of the Orange County Register:
“I think the main thing for Yency is, just get healthy,” Roberts said.