And just like that … the Freddie Freeman era with the Los Angeles Dodgers has begun. After signing his six-year, $162 million contract last week, the defending World Series champ made his spring training debut with his new team on Tuesday at Camelback Ranch.
The Dodgers and Walker Buehler were squaring off against the Cincinnati Reds and starting pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez with Freeman batting the three-hole right in between Justin Turner and Will Smith.
As we get closer to the regular season, it’ll probably be a combination of Turner and Max Muncy, but let’s be real — nobody’s going to complain with however this All-Star lineup is formulated by manager Dave Roberts.
In the bottom of the first inning, Freeman stepped into the batter’s box and the folks in attendance gave him a loud ovation for his first unofficial at-bat with the Dodgers.
Freddie Freeman got his first unofficial hit with the Dodgers after an ovation
How about those vibes on a Tuesday afternoon?! Who said LA fans were of the fair weather variety?
The slugger took that positive energy and delivered a patented Freeman swing on a breaking ball, as he waited on the pitch and poked it through the hole on the left side. With two strikes! It advanced Justin Turner to third base, who doubled off the left field wall in the previous at-bat.
Turner eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Smith. Dodgers lead, 1-0, after their first inning with Freeman in the lineup.
It’s never a prudent move to view spring training as a legitimate preview for what’s to come in the regular season, but getting a taste of this with just over two weeks until Opening Day really has Dodgers fans beyond ecstatic for this star-studded lineup to start abusing opposing pitching.
And Freeman providing us with his trademark oppo pop already proves there’s another fearful element of this offense ready to take the league by storm.