Lowe deemed fit for duty Wednesday
Braves veteran set to make next start after testing elbow
MIAMI -- After playing catch at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday morning, Derek Lowe revealed that he will be ready to start for the Braves during Wednesday's series finale against the Pirates.
Last Wednesday, the discomfort behind Lowe's right elbow proved to be too much for him to even play catch. But having had a full week to rest and realize the benefits of a cortisone shot, the veteran sinkerballer is ready to once again fill his spot in Atlanta's rotation.
"I can't complain," Lowe said. "At the end of the day, it looks like we did the right thing as far as taking some time off. I look forward to getting back out there on Wednesday. It's been a while."
Considering the fact that he'd never previously missed a start because of injury, it's easy to understand why Lowe said it's been "a while" since he allowed the Marlins five earned runs in just three innings on Aug. 29. His absence proved more painful Friday night, when Kenshin Kawakami filled the vacant rotation spot and also allowed Florida five earned runs in just three innings.
"I'm a high-energy guy, so it's been hard," Lowe said. "When I woke up this morning, I was looking forward to getting here and going out there and doing something. We're down to five starts, and we've got ourselves in a good position and you want to help."
Lowe doesn't believe there is any reason to be concerned heading into the bullpen session that he is scheduled to complete Monday morning in Pittsburgh. Just four days ago, he had to abruptly halt his attempt to play catch without being too bothered by a troublesome bone chip in his right elbow.
While giving himself a few extra days to rest, Lowe reduced the swelling that was causing the bone chip to infuriate a nerve in his elbow. Over the past three weeks, he had rarely played catch between starts. In addition, he found himself washing his hair and brushing his teeth with his left hand.
"I've just been doing a lot of treatment work, which is something that I can't stand," Lowe said. "But it's just something that you have to do. ... It's not like [the discomfort] has disappeared. What we set out to do was to give it time and let everything calm down."
Freeman collects elusive first big league hit
MIAMI -- Freddie Freeman was robbed of what appeared to be a definite hit during the first at-bat of his career. Four days later, the highly regarded Braves prospect delivered a clean line drive that wasn't victimized by a shifted defense.
Freeman's ninth-inning single in Sunday afternoon's 7-6, 10-inning loss to the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium served as the first hit of his young career. The clean shot to center came exactly one week before his 21st birthday.
"To get the first one out of the way feels good," Freeman said. "Ultimately, I would have liked for that to have been in a win, but obviously that didn't happen. Still, your first hit is always going to be special."
Given the circumstances surrounding this tight game, Freeman received the ball without having to experience any practical jokes.
"I was looking," Freeman said. "I saw Martin [Prado] get it and I thought he was going to act like he was going to throw it in the stands. But I didn't see anything."
During his Major League debut Wednesday, Freeman's first-inning at-bat resulted in his sharp grounder up the middle being gloved by Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada, who was perfectly positioned behind the second-base bag. Freeman had gone hitless in six at-bats before producing Sunday's single.
Cox gives Glaus start at first base
MIAMI -- Braves manager Bobby Cox stayed true to his word by giving Troy Glaus a chance to start at first base for Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Marlins.
When Glaus returned from the disabled list Thursday, Cox informed him that he would primarily be used off the bench and possibly get a few chances to be in the lineup down the stretch. With Freddie Freeman's arrival, there was reason to wonder how many chances the former All-Star might actually get.
But with Derrek Lee needing another chance to rest his aching back, Cox chose to put Glaus in his lineup for the first time since Aug. 17. The 34-year-old veteran had spent the past few weeks resting his sore legs and reacquainting himself with the third-base position while playing for Triple-A Gwinnett.
"I thought with a day game, there was a good chance that I'd be in there," Glaus said. "But you never know. There's a lot of people here right now."
While Glaus may play a limited role down the stretch, he's a major reason the Braves are in sitting in first place with just one month remaining. Atlanta turned its season around when he batted .316 with 12 homers during a 47-game stretch that began on May 1.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.