ATLANTA — Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman wasn't in the starting lineup Monday for the third straight 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 Tuesday and 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 a current 1-for17 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 on Tuesday.
"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 took a seven-game losing streak into Monday's game against the Cardinals, have been missing three bats from the middle of their lineup. The team put third baseman Chipper Jones on the 15-day disabled list on
Saturday with a bruised left leg. McCann missed most of the last week with an illness but was starting Monday.