05/28/12 5:34 PM ET
Plagued by vision issues, Freeman on bench
By Mark Bowman and Teddy Cahill / MLB.com
Under Armour and Oakley both said they needed approximately a week to construct a prescription set of goggles for Freeman. There is some hope that at least one pair of these goggles might arrive by Tuesday.
"They said six or seven days, because you've got to cut the prescription and everything like that," Freeman said. "They've got to get the eye pupil distance. People think you just go and get goggles. It's not like that. They're going as quick as they can, because they know it's an emergency."
Freeman has missed three consecutive games and four of the past five. Since playing in Colorado at the beginning of this month, he has battled blurred vision caused by dry eyes. It has not been determined why his tear ducts are not creating moisture in either of his eyes. He has been using prescription eye drops for more than a week.
"It's going to take some time," Freeman said. "That's why I have taken the last couple days off. One day, I take a day off, and then all of sudden, I put the contacts in and go back to square one with all of the burning and everything. So I might as well take a couple [days] and take the drops like the doctors gave me, and hopefully that works.
"It's frustrating. I've never had this problem. I try to play through everything. When I can't play through something, it's even more frustrating, especially the little stretch we're going through. You just want to be out there to help the team. But I'm just helpless."
Freeman was hoping to get a quick fix courtesy of glasses that were made for him on Friday. But they did not provide him the peripheral vision that he needs, especially with his somewhat closed batting stance.
Freeman has also learned his vision has changed. The power of the contact lenses he wore earlier this year were 1.5 in both eyes His vision is now 1.75 in his left eye and 2.00 in his right eye.
Freeman said he is thinking about undergoing Lasik surgery after this season concludes. But he said he is somewhat concerned, because he is just 22 years old. Braves catcher Brian McCann was forced to undergo two Lasik procedures because his vision changed after he originally underwent the surgery in 2007 at 23 years old.
"I've always been against Lasik at a young age because of Mac," Freeman said. "But when you've got desperate times, it calls for desperate measures. I'll take anything right now."
Braves have McCann back behind plate
ATLANTA -- As expected, Braves catcher Brian McCann returned to the lineup for Monday afternoon's series opener against the Cardinals. McCann had been limited by the flu for the last week and had not started a game since last Monday in Cincinnati.
McCann went 0-for-4 and was charged with a passed ball in his return in the Braves' 8-2 loss. Still, he said he felt good and expects to play Tuesday.
"I felt fine today," he said. "I felt like I couldn't have picked a better day to come back."
Prior to Monday's game, McCann had last caught on Friday, when he was forced into action after backup catcher David Ross strained his right groin in a second-inning at-bat. McCann said having to catch seven innings set him back a couple days.
"The day I went in there, I was just about getting over it," McCann said. "Then that night was pretty rough."
McCann said it was especially frustrating to be so sick in the middle of the season, because he has never been sick for more than a few days in a row.
"There's nothing you can do about it except get healthy and get back in there," he said. "That's the thing about baseball. It's an everyday sport. Six days doesn't seem like that, but that's six games that you're not playing in."
Jurrjens getting into groove in Minor Leagues
ATLANTA -- With the Braves mired in a seven-game losing streak, Jair Jurrjens provided his finest start since being demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett. Jurrjens allowed just three hits in eight scoreless innings against Rochester on Sunday afternoon.
"Like night and day," Gwinnett manager Dave Brundage said after the game.
Jurrjens showed good command with a fastball that rested around 90 mph and touched 93 mph. When the Braves optioned the former All-Star hurler near the end of April, they were looking for him to focus on regaining command and a little life on his fastball.
The Braves will likely allow Jurrjens to build off this performance with at least one more start at the Minor League level. In his two previous starts leading into Sunday, Jurrjens had allowed 16 earned runs in nine innings.
Jurrjens is 3-2 with a 4.85 ERA in six starts for Gwinnett. He posted a 9.37 ERA in four starts with Atlanta before being sent to the Minors.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Teddy Cahill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.