The Braves are calling this a bruise on Acuña’s left foot after he fouled a pitch off the top of his foot in Saturday’s third inning against the Dodgers. He underwent X-rays, an MRI and other tests, and those came back clean, only revealing bruising.
Acuña was not in Sunday’s lineup. This gives him two days – the Braves are off Monday – to heal before Tuesday’s series opener in Philadelphia. But the Braves don’t seem to know whether this will require an injured list stint.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said the Braves are taking it “day to day.” Acuña said he’ll do whatever the team decides.
“If you’re asking me, I think it’ll be a couple days, just because I can’t put any pressure on my foot,” Acuña said. “If I could put more pressure on my foot, I would just play through the pain. But just right now, with the pain on my foot, I don’t want to put any pressure on it.”
Is the fact that Acuña can’t put pressure on his foot concerning?
“Not if it’s not broken,” Snitker said.
Acuña said he was not given an official medical term for the diagnosis. He said he requested the scooter because he can’t put pressure on his foot.
“If I could put more pressure on my foot, I would just play through the pain. But just right now, with the pain on my foot, I don't want to put any pressure on it."
- Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña
After Acuña fouled a ball off the top of his foot in Saturday’s game, he continued to play. He struck out in the sixth and played right field until the top of the ninth, when Guillermo Heredia replaced him.
“As the game went on, eventually it just got to the point where I couldn’t really stand it anymore,” Acuña said.
This season, the 24-year-old Acuña is batting .281 with an .828 OPS. He has hit seven home runs and has driven in 18 runs. As the Braves’ leadoff hitter – and one of the sport’s top players – he is crucial to the club’s success, even if it won a World Series without him last season.
Now Acuña, who received treatment on his foot Sunday, will wait until it heals enough for him to play again. No one seems to know when that could be.
“It’s a feeling that reminds me of last year a little bit, just the frustration of not wanting to have to do anything related to rehabs or rehab assignments or anything,” Acuña said. “I just want to play every single day, so the frustration is not being able to play every single day.”
Tyler Matzek set to begin rehab assignment
Tyler Matzek said he will head to Augusta on Monday to begin a rehab assignment when Low-A Augusta starts a home series Tuesday.
Matzek on Saturday threw a live batting practice session – the first of his rehab process. He has been out since May with a left shoulder impingement.
He needed this time.
“I think just long-term health, there was no way I was going to last with the impingement and shoulder bruising, inflammation I have,” Matzek said Sunday. “It was either catastrophic blowout or just ineffective pitching. Now that we got that under control, able to go out there and be effective on the mound like I was (Saturday) in my live BP.”
Matzek’s back flared up at the beginning of spring training. He pitched through it, but it could have hurt him. In May, he experienced shoulder inflammation, leading the Braves to place him on the injured list.
Matzek said he believes he’s headed to Augusta – and not, say, Triple-A Gwinnett – because Eddie Rosario is already in Gwinnett and the Braves may not have wanted to bombard the athletic training staff there.
In Matzek’s absence, the bullpen has still performed well.
“Those guys have been absolutely stellar,” Matzek said. “It’s been unbelievable. And the starters have been doing an amazing job to help those guys out. I truly believe that when a starting staff is really good, it makes the bullpen very good. They don’t get overexposed, they don’t get overused; you can come in and do your job.”
Matzek should be back soon if all goes well. Reliever Kirby Yates could return around early August. Mike Soroka could be back soon after the All-Star break.
The Braves have pitched well this season, and their staff could get even better within the next two months.
“We got plenty of options,” Matzek said. “I think it’s a good ‘problem’ to have, having so many guys, so many arms available. We play a long season, and you never know what happens.”
Eddie Rosario continues rehab assignment
Rosario was Gwinnett’s leadoff hitter once again Sunday. But this time, he was also in left field.
As the designated hitter Saturday, Rosario went 1-for-4 in the first game of his rehab assignment.
On Sunday night, Rosario was 2-for-6 with two RBIs, but the Stripers lost 9-8 to host Nashville in 11 innings.
The Braves haven’t provided a timetable for his return. We only have this: Position players can only be on a rehab assignment for a maximum of 20 days.