Chris Johnson has started 13 of the Braves’ first 16 games and is hitting .438.
DENVER -- Freddie Freeman will have to wait a day. And the Atlanta Braves’ first baseman is just fine with that.
He came off the 15-day disabled list Monday, his strained right oblique healed and successfully tested in three games on a rehabilitation assignment. But Monday’s game between the Braves and Colorado Rockies was postponed due to snow, which really didn’t disappoint Freeman.
“No, I’m off the DL,” he said. “So I’m happy. We’ll just wait until tomorrow. But I’m excited still even if it’s canceled.”
A split doubleheader has been scheduled for Tuesday, with games at 1:10 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. MDT. Monday’s scheduled starters will pitch in the first game -- Colorado’s Jeff Francis and Atlanta’s Mike Minor. In the second game, Colorado’s Jon Garland and Atlanta’s Julio Teheran are scheduled to start.
The Rockies are trying to finish a 10-game homestand where winter weather has intruded. Monday’s postponement due to snow was the third in eight days. There have been 16 games in Denver postponed due to snow since the Rockies began play in 1993, including the three this season.
The Rockies and New York Mets were snowed out last week on Monday and Wednesday and played a split-doubleheader Tuesday with the temperatures at game time 38 degrees and 36 degrees, respectively.
The Mets and Rockies then played a single game Thursday afternoon when the 28-degree temperature tied the mark for the lowest in Rockies franchise history for the start of a home game.
The forecast for Tuesday is for snow showers and 31-degree temperature when Francis is scheduled to throw his first pitch.
The Rockies were scheduled to open their clubhouse at 4 p.m. but never did once the game was postponed.
Both the Braves and Rockies are 13-5 and tied for the best record in the majors. The Rockies had their eight-game winning streak end Sunday with a 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The loss also was the Rockies’ first at home, breaking a franchise-record 8-0 home record to start the season.
The Braves, who had a 10-game winning streak end with a 1-0 loss at Kansas City in Minor’s last start Wednesday, have lost four of their past five games, including the final three at Pittsburgh, where they won the first game of a four-game series.
When Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was asked whether Monday’s postponement disrupts his team’s routine, he said jokingly, “I’ll look to get a little disruption now; we just lost three in a row against the Pirates.”
Gonzalez said he likely wouldn’t play Freeman and second baseman Dan Uggla in both games Tuesday. Uggla left Saturday’s game at Pittsburgh with a left calf strain. Gonzalez said he wasn’t going to play Uggla on Monday night if the field was wet.
“I think Danny won’t play two games because he’s coming off that calf thing,” Gonzalez said. “I think that’s the smart thing. He comes out of the game because he’s had a calf thing and all of a sudden he plays 18 innings; I don’t think that’s smart.”
Uggla said, “There’s no reason for me not to play both games. I feel good and I’m ready to go.”
Freeman went 5-for-10 with two doubles and two RBI in three games at Triple-Gwinnett.
“I’m cleared to go, Freeman said. “I had the rehab games and felt great. I had no pain, no restrictions. I’ve been letting it fly the last couple days so no problems.”
Freeman has played five games at Coors Field, going 7-for-17 (.412) with one homer and five RBI. It was in a series in Denver last May that Freeman experienced a dry-eye problem that bothered him for weeks. He finally got a pair of contact lenses that alleviated the problem after several unsuccessful attempts. Freeman wears clear goggles in the field to protect his eyes from wind.
He said he was eyeing April 22, the date he became eligible to come off the disabled last, and it wasn’t until last week that he noticed that meant playing at Coors Field.
“I was kind of excited, but I was like, ‘Oh man, that’s where my eyes went bad.’ Hopefully, the wind dies down and I can get through this series OK.”