Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna suffered a mild ACL sprain in his left knee and a lower back contusion on Sunday, Mark Bowman of MLB.com was among those to report. The team will place Acuna on the disabled list and then re-evaluate him after the 10-day window.
Acuna exited the Braves’ win over the Red Sox on Sunday with what looked to be a potentially catastrophic injury (video here), but it appears he’ll escape disaster. Given how dire the situation looked Sunday, Bowman notes that this could be a best-case scenario for Acuna and the Braves.
The 20-year-old Acuna is only a little more than a month into his major league career, having joined the Braves with great fanfare on April 25. The all-world prospect justified the hype before landing on the DL, slashing .265/.326/.453 with five home runs in 129 plate appearances. He has also posted a .364 xwOBA, per Statcast, suggesting his actual wOBA (.332) has been a bit on the unlucky side.
While Acuna may not miss significant time, it’s still unfortunate for the Braves that they’ll have to go without one of their key near- and long-term pieces for at least the next couple weeks. Atlanta, thanks in part to Acuna and many other highly talented 20-somethings, owns the National League’s second-best record (30-21) and a half-game lead in the NL East. They’ll turn a starting outfield spot back to Preston Tucker, who occupied one alongside Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis prior to Acuna’s promotion (depth chart).