Braves outfielder Eddie Rosario played with blurry right eye

Braves right fielder Eddie Rosario (8) misses a fly during a game at Truist Park against the Washington Nationals on Monday, April 11, 2022. Miguel Martinez/miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

Combined ShapeCaption
Braves right fielder Eddie Rosario (8) misses a fly during a game at Truist Park against the Washington Nationals on Monday, April 11, 2022. Miguel Martinez/miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

Braves outfielder Eddie Rosario on Sunday reported some issues in his right eye. At that point, Braves manager Brian Snitker thought Rosario simply would need to change his prescription or be fitted for different contacts.

“Evidently, when they looked at him,” Snitker said, “it was more serious than that.”

ExploreMore AJC coverage of the Braves

Rosario could miss eight to 12 weeks after he undergoes a laser procedure Wednesday to correct blurred vision and swelling in his right eye. He saw a retinal specialist Monday to get the diagnosis.

To the Braves, this explains Rosario’s struggles at the plate and in the field. He couldn’t see properly out of that right eye.

Before the diagnosis, Rosario had collected as many hits as errors (three). He didn’t look completely comfortable in the batter’s box or in the outfield.

“If your vision is off a little bit, it’s a lot in this sport,” Snitker said. “You start thinking back to the fly ball that he missed, that might have been something to it.”

The fly ball Snitker mentioned is a perfect example: During a night game in San Diego, Rosario simply missed a fly ball in right field. He didn’t drop it or misplay it. He missed it.

It makes more sense now.

So, too, does Rosario’s 3-for-44 start to the season at the plate. The amazing part: As a left-handed hitter who couldn’t see well out of his right eye, he struck out only 10 times. He even drew five walks.

“I think it was just blurry,” Snitker said. “A little bit of eye problems in baseball is a lot. I don’t know to what degree it was, but it was enough that he went in and talked to (head athletic trainer) George (Poulis) and that, it’s a little bit more than what I thought it was.”

Snitker indicated that the team knew Rosario was having some eye issues throughout his rough start. But no one knew they were as serious as they turned out to be, which is why Monday’s news was surprising.

Rosario didn’t report this until recently. He tried to fight through it.

“He wasn’t a guy who’s going to make excuses, he’s going to keep grinding through it and get it going,” Snitker said. “It just didn’t happen.”

When the Braves used Rosario as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of Sunday’s loss to the Marlins, he told the team he was fine. As it turned out, he was dealing with something serious.

“I’m just glad for him there’s something going on,” Snitker said. “He’s a young man with a family. That’s kind of a serious thing if your eyes are bothering you.”

How will Braves replace Rosario in the field?

When Ronald Acuña returns, he will play right field. That likely would’ve pushed Rosario to left field.

Now what happens?

“That’s something we’ll deal with,” Snitker said, indicating the Braves will decide on that when necessary.

Acuña won’t be a full-time outfielder when he returns. He’ll need days off to make sure he’s recovering well.

The Braves have Guillermo Heredia, Travis Demeritte and Alex Dickerson as backup outfielders. They used Demeritte in right field twice versus the Marlins. Dickerson has played in right field once this season, and Snitker said he’s comfortable putting Dickerson in left field if necessary.

With Rosario out, it would seem Ozuna will still see a lot of left field. On days Acuña is the designated hitter, Heredia and Demeritte could be the top options to play right field. Something else worth mentioning: Orlando Arcia, the team’s only backup infielder, has played some left field since joining the Braves last season.

Snitker likes Woods

Snitker has liked Woods for two years. If Woods pitches, it will be his MLB debut.

Woods began the year at Double-A Mississippi and has since pitched well at Triple-A Gwinnett.

For Mississippi, he allowed six earned runs over five innings. He then went to the Stripers and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings before the Braves recalled him. He has 14 strikeouts this season.

“They put him in the bullpen, and evidently, it’s been really, really good. Really good,” Snitker said. “So it’ll be good to get a look at him because I really liked him two years ago.”