Ronald Acuna expects to return to Braves lineup Saturday

051122 Atlanta: Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna watches the game from the dugout as he sat out of the lineup against the Boston Red Sox at Truist Park on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

caption arrowCaption
051122 Atlanta: Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna watches the game from the dugout as he sat out of the lineup against the Boston Red Sox at Truist Park on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Ronald Acuna was out of the Braves’ lineup again Friday for the series opener against San Diego, but the All-Star outfielder said he expects to return Saturday.

ExploreMore AJC coverage of the Braves

Acuna missed Wednesday’s victory over the Red Sox with groin soreness, an issue the Braves hoped wouldn’t require an injured-list stint. The team was off Thursday, giving Acuna another day of rest before the team began a three-game series against the Padres on Friday to conclude its homestand.

Manager Brian Snitker described Acuna’s soreness as a “day-to-day thing.” Acuna told reporters he feels “good” and intends to play Saturday. He wasn’t available to pinch hit Friday.

“They treated him up all day yesterday, and it still felt a little (sore) today, so hopefully one more day will knock it out,” Snitker said.

Acuna missed the beginning of the season as he was working his way back from an ACL tear suffered in July. He’s played in 10 games, hitting .282/.391/.487 with two homers and five RBIs. He’s also stolen five bases.

Pina surgery set for May 16

Snitker said veteran catcher Manny Pina will undergo wrist surgery Monday. Pina, who’d been on the injured list since April 25, was declared out for the season Wednesday. William Contreras will be Travis d’Arnaud’s primary backup.

Eddie Rosario still far away from return

Two weeks ago, it was revealed that Rosario, the Braves’ National League Championship Series hero from October, would miss two to three months after undoing a laser procedure on his right eye to address swelling and blurred vision.

Rosario has been around the team recently, Snitker said. “I held (three fingers up) and he said ‘three,’ so he’s headed in the right direction. He looked good. He seemed fine. I think he’s still limited as far as exertion and things like that. I haven’t talked with (trainer) George (Poulis), but I’m assuming everything is well or I would’ve heard (otherwise).”

Snitker wouldn’t say when Rosario would resume conditioning. “I just know he’s a ways away from getting back here,” Snitker added.

Acuna a difference maker on the base paths

Since Acuna’s season debut, the Braves have stolen 12 bases in 13 games (that includes a steal Wednesday in the game he missed). That’s the third-highest total in the majors over that span. The Braves have 15 stolen bases overall, which ranks 16th in MLB, but Acuna alone has changed the dynamic. His five steals are second-most among all players since April 28 (when he debuted).

Harper injured, will continue as DH

Phillies star Bryce Harper has a small UCL tear, an injury he initially sustained April 11. While it will keep him out of the outfield – he won’t throw a baseball for four weeks, manager Joe Girardi said – he’ll continue as the Phillies’ designated hitter, a role in which he’s thrived. Harper had three RBIs in Thursday’s win over the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

The Braves and Phillies began Friday tied at 15-17, 6-1/2 games behind the Mets in the NL East. The foes will face each other for the first time this season May 23-26 in Atlanta.

Mets lose their backstop

In other division rival and catcher injury news, Mets catcher James McCann will undergo surgery and miss around six weeks with a hamate fracture, the team announced Friday. McCann has hit .196 with a homer and six RBIs in 21 games.

Drawing the Padres’ best

The Braves faced Padres right-hander Yu Darvish in Friday’s series opener. They’ll oppose two more strong San Diego veterans this weekend. Former A’s starter Sean Manaea (2-3, 3.75) will face his former teammate Matt Olson and the Braves on Saturday. Charlie Morton will start for the Braves. In the finale, Kyle Wright will go against Padres ace Joe Musgrove (4-0, 2.08).

There likely won’t be easier pitching ahead. Next week, the Braves embark on a trip to Milwaukee and Miami, two teams known for their pitching prowess.

About the Author

Editors' Picks