Here is the Braves’ tentative plan for outfielder Ronald Acuña’s return

031822 North Port: Atlanta Braves Ronald Acuna puts on his sunglasses while getting in some early morning batting practice during Spring Training on Friday, March 18, 2022, before playing the Minnesota Twins in a MLB preseason game in North Port.    “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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031822 North Port: Atlanta Braves Ronald Acuna puts on his sunglasses while getting in some early morning batting practice during Spring Training on Friday, March 18, 2022, before playing the Minnesota Twins in a MLB preseason game in North Port. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

SAN DIEGO – Ronald Acuña, who joined the Braves at Truist Park for their championship-weekend festivities, is in Florida playing in simulated games. The Braves, who are monitoring his progress, are using a loose target date of May 6 for Acuña to make his season debut for them.

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Acuña, who is completing his rehab after tearing an ACL last summer, could begin a rehab assignment with one of the Braves’ minor-league affiliates as soon as next week. But he also could remain in Florida and continue ramping up with sim games.

The club has not decided on that, though. Weather, travel and how Acuña looks this weekend all will be factors in the team’s decision. Triple-A Gwinnett is on the road next week and doesn’t begin its next homestand until April 26, and Double-A Mississippi is at home next week and on the road the week after that.

As of now, Acuña is expected to join Gwinnett on April 26, if he doesn’t experience any issues before that. Acuña is building up to play a full nine innings in the outfield while still getting his at-bats.

Acuña will begin a rehab assignment once the Braves think he can safely complete five to six innings in the outfield. They expect that to be next week if all goes well.

When Acuña finally returns to the Braves, he will not be a full-time outfielder. He’ll play some outfield, but the Braves will take it day by day to ensure his body is recovering well.

Simulated games are a controlled environment, and they allow the team to have Acuña safely build up in the outfield while still getting the necessary amount of at-bats. You can alter the games in a way that isn’t possible in a real game.

Acuña, selected as an All-Star starter last year, was playing at an MVP level before tearing his ACL. Over 82 games, he was hitting .283 with a .990 on-base plus slugging percentage. He had hit 24 home runs while driving in 52 runs.

Rosario trying to feel comfortable at the plate

As the Braves traveled to San Diego for their first road trip of the season, Eddie Rosario took a 1-for-20 start to the season with him.

“I want to try to feel comfortable at the plate,” Rosario said before Thursday’s series opener. “I’ve been fighting in the first (few) games, feeling uncomfortable. But I keep working.”

Rosario has looked at the video. He believes he looks like the same hitter. He hasn’t changed anything and hasn’t noticed anything in his swing.

He believes it’s a matter of getting more at-bats and seeing more pitches.

Asked what he’s doing when he feels comfortable at the plate, Rosario said: “The feeling at home plate, the timing, when I’m not thinking too much. I’m at the plate to have fun, everything (goes) better. I want to focus during my game, and I’m not thinking about (how) I started bad.”

He said it’s difficult not to think about the poor start because it’s the start of the season. Everyone wants to get off to a hot start.

He doesn’t appear too worried, though.

Wright learned to control what he can control

Pitchers, Kyle Wright said, are focused on what happens when their pitches reach a hitter’s bat, but they can’t control that outcome.

This, Wright said, has been an area of personal growth.

“Once it leaves my hand, I can’t control what the hitter does, what the umpire does, how hard it’s hit, how soft it’s hit, whatever it may be,” Wright said. “For me, being able to control what I can control on the mound – which is my mechanics, my delivery, mindset, everything – that is everything.”

This is one main reason why he felt so proud of his first start of the season. Yes, he tossed six scoreless innings. But those were no fluke.

His mechanics felt great, and he continued repeating his delivery. He executed pitches.

The outcomes worked in his favor, but he put himself in favorable positions for that to occur.

Elder will make another start

Bryce Elder, who allowed three runs over 5-2/3 innings Tuesday in his MLB debut, will make another start for the Braves. The catch: He will pitch Sunday in San Diego. He had been lined up to go Monday at Dodger Stadium.

Huascar Ynoa will receive an extra day of rest. Ynoa surrendered five runs over three innings in his first outing of the season.

“It’s not for any reason other than to give Ynoa an extra day,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “(Elder has) been in spring training longer than anybody that we have here because he went to minor league camp and he was pitching innings – he had five innings I think before we even started spring training. I think the fact that he’s stretched out and where he’s at, it’s good to kind of keep him on target right now.”