The Atlanta Braves placed star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. on the injured list on Saturday because of wrist inflammation. According to Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves have backdated the assignment to earlier in the week with the hope Acuna is able to return next weekend.
Even Friday afternoon, Acuna was still expected to be able avoid the IL. The Braves had high hopes that Acuna would return to the lineup by Monday morning. Following further evaluations, Acuna was determined to require an extended absence. Because Acuna had not played since leaving Monday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Braves were able to wait a day before making a move and without extending his required stay on the shelf.
Acuna has hit.258/.372/.515, 136 OPS+ with four homers in 78 plate appearances.
In Acuna’s absence, Braves used an outfield that included Ender iniarte and Nick Markakis. Marcell Ozuna served as designated hitter. While Drew Waters and Cristian Pache were potential outfield candidates, the Braves chose instead to activate Chad Sobotka.
Therefore, the Braves will have a three-player team that features backup catcher Tyler Flowers and reserves infielders Adeiny Hechavarria as well.
Braves are being hit very hard this season by injuries. Acuna will join a number of Braves injured this season, including Cole Hamels, Ozzie Albies and Opening Day starter Mike Soroka. Nonetheless, the Braves entered play on Saturday night with an 11-10 record, or two games back in the National League East behind their current opponents, the surprising Miami Marlins.
The Braves will complete their three-game series against the Marlins on Sunday before hosting the Washington Nationals for a three-game series.