ATLANTA -- Instead of returning to Atlanta following Wednesday's series finale in Tampa, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez spent Thursday's off-day catching up with Freddie Freeman, Hector Olivera, Dian Toscano and other players currently working out at the club's Spring Training complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Though Olivera is still likely a little more than a week away from making his anticipated debut with the Braves, Gonzalez didn't see any reason to be concerned about the left hamstring strain that has sidelined the 30-year-old third baseman since July 13, a little more than two weeks before Atlanta acquired him from the Dodgers.
"[Olivera] is champing at the bit, but he knows he needs to take a little time, but I'll tell you what he put on a show during batting practice," said Gonzalez, who also traveled to Lakeland on Thursday to watch Olivera and Freeman participate in a Gulf Coast League game.
While Olivera might not be activated until the Braves return to Atlanta on Aug. 24, Freeman is expected to be in the Braves' lineup for Wednesday's game in San Diego. The first baseman has played just 10 Major League games since he was initially sidelined on June 17 with a sprained right wrist.
Freeman played just one Minor League rehab game after missing five weeks with a sprained right wrist that sidelined him on June 17. After returning to Atlanta's roster five days earlier than planned, he played just 10 Major League games before straining his right oblique muscle on Aug. 3.
The Braves will not make the same mistake this time and thus will have Freeman spend the next few days preparing his body for the daily grind by playing rehab games with Triple-A Gwinnett.
Toscano signed a six-year, $7.5 million contract with the Braves in January. The Cuban outfielder still has not gained clearance necessary from the U.S. government to allow him to begin playing in Minor League games. But he has spent the past couple months working out at the Spring Training complex.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.