With Jung Ho Kang in South Korea all season after being denied a work visa, David Freese was the Pirates' regular third baseman, save for an April visit to the disabled list with a sore hamstring. Apparently, he never received the memo about launch angle as Freese continued to carry one of the lowest flyball rates in the league. That's fine when you're Willie Mays Hayes, but Freese consistently sports a HR/FB above league average, even while playing in power-depressing venues his whole career. The past season followed the same pattern as the journeyman third baseman recorded a 14.1 percent HR/FB while hitting a flyball only 22.6 percent of the time, resulting in just 10 homers. Kang's 2018 situation still unclear, so for now, expect Freese to again man the hot corner, providing pedestrian homers with a useful average, best suited for NL-only formats.
Freese is out of Saturday's lineup against the Nationals. He is out of the lineup for the seventh time in 27 contests this month and is hitting .292/.362/.389 with one home run in 72 at-bats over that stretch. Sean Rodriguez will start at third base and hit sixth.
Freese is not in the lineup for Thursday's game against the Nationals. Freese will get the day off after starting five of the past six games at the hot corner, hitting .278/.350/.389 with four RBI over that stretch. Sean Rodriguez will start at third base and bat sixth in his place.
Freese is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Cardinals. Freese went 2-for-5 and drove in three of the Pirates' 11 runs during Saturday's victory, but he'll head to the bench ahead of Sunday's series finale against John Gant and the Cardinals. Sean Rodriguez takes over at third base, batting fifth.
Freese is not in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Brewers, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports. Freese will take a seat on the bench after starting six straight games at the hot corner, slashing an unimpressive .227/.292/.272 with 11 strikeouts over that stretch. In his place, Max Moroff will draw the start at third base, batting eighth.
Freese is not in the lineup Monday against the Brewers. Freese has been locked in at the plate to start September, hitting .379/.438/.517 in eight games, but he'll head to the bench for a breather after starting six of the last seven contests. In his place, Sean Rodriguez will take over at the hot corner, batting sixth.