Thursday, August 11, 2022

Ronald Acuña Jr. injury update: Braves star ‘a little worried’ after fouling ball off his foot


Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. did not play on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers after fouling a ball off his left foot during Saturday’s game. Acuña underwent tests that showed no fracture, but it’s worth noting that he was using a medical scooter in the clubhouse because he felt he could not put weight on his foot.

“I’d say that’s the one thing that has me a little worried, but we’ll see how it goes,”” Acuña told the Associated Press through a translator. Braves manager Brian Snitker, for his part, didn’t seem concerned, pointing out that the diagnosis was a bruise.

Acuña, 24 years old, has appeared in 43 games this season since returning from the torn ACL that ended his 2021 campaign prematurely. He’s batted .281/.372/.455 (127 OPS+) with seven home runs and 13 stolen bases (on 17 tries). Acuña’s contributions have been worth an estimated 1.6 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference’s calculations. 

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Acuña has solidified himself as one of the top players in the league when healthy. In parts of five seasons, he’s accumulated a .281/.376/.540 slash line (137 OPS+) along with 112 home runs and 91 stolen bases (versus 25 caught stealings). 

The Braves are already without one key player because of a foot injury. Second baseman Ozzie Albies suffered a fracture earlier this month and is on the 60-day injured list.

The Braves blew a late lead on Sunday night, dropping them to 42-32 on the season. That puts them five games behind the New York Mets in the National League East. Atlanta has Monday off before resuming the season on Tuesday by beginning a three-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies. (The Phillies, it should be noted, are dealing with an injury to a significant player as well, with outfielder Bryce Harper expected to miss an extended period of time after fracturing his thumb over the weekend.)

The Braves, it just so happens, are three games up on those Phillies.

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