4/20/2014 1:28 P.M. ET
Freeman channeling Chipper as Mets tormentor
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman does not believe he has been around long enough to have earned the "Mets Killer" title that Chipper Jones gained during his long, storied career.
"I think it's a little too early to say that," Freeman said. "How many games have I even played against the Mets? Chipper can have that title. I'm still young. It's a little too early for that."
Freeman entered Sunday's finale batting .323 with 13 home runs and a .974 OPS through the 58 games he had played against the Mets. Jones batted .309 with 49 home runs and a .949 OPS in the 245 games he played against New York's National League affiliate. Through his first 58 games against the Mets, the former Braves third baseman hit .364 with 17 home runs and a 1.115 OPS in his first 58 contests against the Mets.
Jones' 58th game against the Mets came during a torrid late September stretch that earned him his only National League Most Valuable Player Award. It is also far too early to know whether Freeman will earn his first MVP Award this year. But he has thus far built a strong base for his candidacy.
Freeman entered Sunday leading the Majors with a 1.239 OPS. He was tied for second in the National League with five home runs and third with a .413 batting average. His hot start has provided every indication that he has not been burdened by the franchise record eight-year, $135 million contract he signed with the Braves in January.
"I'm just trying to be that consistent guy they can put in the lineup every single day and they don't have to worry about me. Just put my name in that lineup and I'll go play," Freeman said. "So far, so good. I feel healthy, and that is the key with everybody.
"I've been able to stay consistent and keep those 0-fers to one game and then get back on track as soon as possible. We're all going to have our ups and downs, but I just want to keep those downs as short as possible."
Schafer has pinch-hit single after jamming finger
NEW YORK -- Jordan Schafer chose not to discuss how he injured his right middle finger during Saturday night's win over the Mets. Instead, the Braves' backup outfielder was simply happy that he was available to play in Sunday's series finale at Citi Field.
Schafer came on and hit a pinch-hit single leading off the seventh inning.
"Everybody wants to know what happened to Schafer, he's fine," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Schafer's finger was jammed when he slapped hands with Justin Upton at home plate following Upton's decisive three-run home run during the ninth inning on Saturday. If Upton was more aggressive than normal with this exchange, it was because he took exception to the fact that the Mets had intentionally walked Freddie Freeman ahead of him with two outs in the inning.
X-rays performed on Schafer's finger following Saturday's game were negative.
Minor makes final Triple-A rehab start
NEW YORK -- Mike Minor is currently on track to make his season debut on Saturday against the Reds.
Minor threw 80 pitches over the six innings he completed for Triple-A Gwinnett during his final Minor League rehab start on Saturday night. Highly-regarded White Sox prospect Matt Davidson's two-run, first-inning home run accounted for the only damage Minor incurred until an error and passed ball allowed Charlotte to tally an unearned run in the sixth.
The Braves have been anxiously awaiting the return of Minor, who was slowed during the early portion of Spring Training by a cranky left shoulder that was blamed on the month-long stretch of inactivity the pitcher experienced after undergoing a Dec. 31 urinary tract procedure.
When Minor is activated from the disabled list, David Hale will likely be the odd man out. Hale would either move to Atlanta's bullpen or go to Gwinnett to continue serving as a starter.
• Craig Kimbrel was available to pitch in Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Mets. While Kimbrel was not effective as he recorded just two outs in Saturday night's ninth inning, he was encouraged by the fact that his previously sore right shoulder did not prove to be a problem.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.