Braves consider playing Freddie Freeman at 3B when slugger returns from DL

Matt Adams' offensive resurgence has forced the Atlanta Braves to consider playing Freddie Freeman at third base when the star slugger returns from the disabled list.

Braves manager Brian Snitker told reporters that the organization "can't rule out anything," acknowledging that Atlanta may have to shift Freeman to third base, a position he has not played since high school.

"We are kind of discussing that internally and looking at that because it is a reality," Snitker told reporters Tuesday. "The fact is Freddie is going to be back, and what do we do? There are some options there, because it would be nice to have both of those guys in the lineup somehow."

Freeman, who has played his entire major league career at first base, broke his left wrist on May 17 and was expected to miss 10 weeks, prompting the Braves to acquire Adams in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals three days later.

After struggling to secure regular playing time with the Cardinals over the last three years, Adams has been outstanding for the Braves, batting .296 with 10 home runs and 27 RBIs in just 29 games. The 6-foot-3, 277-pound Adams has limited defensive versatility beyond first base but did appear in six games in left field this season for St. Louis.

Freeman recently had the cast removed and began playing catch Monday, but the Braves do not expect the two-time All-Star to return from the DL for at least another month.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Freeman was off to a torrid start at the plate before his injury, batting .341 with 14 homers and 25 RBIs in 37 games. He did play five games at third base in 2007, as a 17-year-old in the Rookie Gulf Coast League.

The Braves have two veteran everyday players in their corner outfield spots with Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis, and Adams is unlikely to supplant Ender Inciarte in center field. Snitker acknowledged, however, that he also has considered getting Adams some playing time in the outfield.

"If he's not playing first, I think maybe you put him in the outfield somewhere," Snitker said. "It's just kind of something [where] we are going to explore all the options and see [what] best serves the ballclub."