ATLANTA — Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman wasn’t in the starting lineup Monday for the third day as he sought the reason for his dry eyes and blurry vision.
Freeman said he can’t wear contacts because his tear ducts aren’t producing. He can’t wear normal glasses when playing because he can’t see when hitting from his closed stance.
“I’ve got a weird stance, and to be able to see out of glasses is hard,” he said. “I’m out with contacts. Can’t do it.”
Freeman said his eyes are too dry with contacts “and it burns my eyes.”
He said he hopes prescription sports goggles will arrive by today and that they will have lenses that curve around the corners of his eyes, making it possible for him to see when batting.
The problems began during a three-game series in Colorado on May 4-6.
“I had no depth perception,” Freeman said. “Balls were getting blurry.”
Since then, Freeman’s batting average has plummeted from .298 to .247, including his current 1-for-17 slide.
He must solve the problem with his tear ducts before he can consider Lasik surgery. He has another appointment scheduled with his eye specialist today.
“Lasik has crossed my mind because this is a nightmare,” Freeman said. He said he previously was reluctant to consider surgery because teammate Brian McCann and others needed more than one Lasik procedure.
Freeman has been taking prescription eye drops designed to help him produce tears naturally.
Eric Hinske is starting at first base against St. Louis.
The Braves, who lost their eighth game in a row Monday, have missed three bats from the middle of their lineup. The team put third baseman Chipper Jones on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a bruised left leg. McCann missed most of the past week with an illness but started Monday.