Newly acquired third baseman Juan Francisco arrived at Braves camp on Monday, the club's getaway day, and was in the starting lineup, playing third and batting sixth. He played all nine innings at third and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He struck out in his first at-bat after working a 3-1 count then fouling off three straight pitches.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez was impressed with Francisco, having seen him play nine innings for the first time. Gonzalez thought Francisco's at-bats were impressive, especially considering the fact that Francisco had a whirlwind 24 hours after getting traded and immediately making the trip from Arizona to Florida, then finding himself in the lineup.
Freddie Freeman punctuated an excellent spring Monday by going 2-for-3 with his seventh Grapefruit League home run. Freeman, who has said all along that he's not worried about a sophomore slump after finishing second in the 2011 National League Rookie of the Year Award voting, exited Monday's game with a .295 average, .356 on-base percentage, .603 slugging percentage and 15 RBIs this spring.
"He's been hot," Gonzalez said. "Let's take that bottle and put a cap on it and start the season right now."
Gonzalez said right fielder Jason Heyward, who sat out Monday after only one at-bat Sunday, was fine and should be in the lineup for Tuesday's exhibition against the Braves' "Futures" squad at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, Ga.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.