The Braves announced Thursday that they’ve activated Ronald Acuna Jr. from the disabled list and placed veteran right-hander Brandon McCarthy on the 10-day DL due to tendinitis in his right knee. Atlanta also optioned righty Wes Parsons back to Triple-A Gwinnett just a day after he had his contract selected and recalled righty Matt Wisler from Gwinnett.
Acuna, 20, has been out since May 28 due to a knee contusion and a mild sprain of his left ACL, but he figures to return to an everyday role in left field, joining Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis in a productive Braves outfield. The game’s consensus top prospect to open the season, Acuna did nothing to suggest he wasn’t deserving of such high praise in his first taste of the Majors, hitting .265/.326/.453 with five homers and seven doubles through 129 plate appearances in spite of his youth.
McCarthy, soon to be 35, has had his share of struggles in Atlanta this year, compiling a 4.92 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 1.72 HR/9 and a 48 percent ground-ball rate. To McCarthy’s credit, most of the damage done against him came in a pair of brutal starts at the beginning of May, when he yielded 14 runs over a combined 8 1/3 innings. The righty pitched quite well in the month of April and, since that ugly pair of consecutive outings in May, has worked to a respectable 4.23 ERA with a pristine 35-to-6 K/BB ratio in 38 1/3 frames.
[Related: Atlanta Braves depth chart]
With McCarthy going on the shelf and Mike Soroka now out until at least late August, the Braves’ rotation consists of Sean Newcomb, Mike Foltynewicz, Julio Teheran and Anibal Sanchez. Wisler, Max Fried, Luiz Gohara and Lucas Sims are among the options already on the 40-man roster that could step up and make some starts in lieu of McCarthy.
At 45-34, the Braves still hold the the lead of the NL East by two and a half games despite the fact that their play has slipped a bit as of late. Atlanta has played at a .500 clip this month and is 5-5 over its past 10 games, but neither the Nationals nor the Phillies have made up any substantial ground in the division during that time.
Laughing at the guy who said Acuna was a “generational talent.” There’s only three or four of those kind of players in the game right now, and even a couple of those are debatable.
That’s why they’re “generational talents.”
And virtually none were seen as generational talents in their first year in the majors.
I’m not going to call him a generational talent, but your tone seems to indicate that he has failed, when that isn’t the case. To perform as he has at his age is quite remarkable.
You’re mistaken on my tone. There is no tone. It’s text.
As for generational talents, what makes them generational is that you CAN spot them in their rookie seasons: great all around players who are just so far above their peers at a very young age. Who play like veterans at 19-20. Who are all-stars and MVP candidates every year from their debut, and have the look of a hall of famer after a season or two.
Mike Trout. Bryce Harper. Manny Machado. Jose Altuve.
Trout, Machado and Altuve had bad starts to their careers. In their first season, none of those 3 had an on base % over 300 and 2 of them had an OPS under 700, Machado was around 730. it’s a little early to say Acuna won’t be a generational talent. If you go based just on their first taste of the majors then you wouldve said at the time that Trout was going to be a terrible player. Obviously that is not the case.
Trout, pedroia, judge werent good in their initial seasons.
First of all, text can also have tone. It’s called connotation. Secondly, your argument for players being generational talents is based off of them being stars at a young age. In that argument you used Jose Altuve as an example of a generational player. Altuve didn’t break out as a star until he was 26 or 27.
I personally think Trout is the only one of those guys who can *definitively* be called a generational talent, and he’s the outlier anyway since he’s on his way to being one of the best ever. You can make easy cases for the other ones for sure so I’m not disagreeing, but Machado and Harper in particular were also helped by debuting at such a young age (same with Trout, but nobody in the game is on the same level that he is).
Based on that logic, I don’t think it’s totally ridiculous to put Stanton in that conversation, since he’ll have over 300 homers by the time he turns 29. It’s a little more of a stretch to mention him, but I don’t think it’s crazy either.
I didn’t mention Judge.
Trout was ROY, and an All-Star, and was #2 in the MVP race in his first season of action. His OBP was .399. Machado’s was .314, and he was an All-Star, and #9 in the MVP race in his rookie season.
No, you’re looking at their initial callups, where Trout was .220 in August/September before his rookie season, and Machado’s first 50 games before his rookie year.
I didn’t mention Pedroia or Judge. But please, keep nitpicking. Because this isn’t about any of them: this is about Acuna, who is probably a very good rookie, and could develop into a great player, but is not a “generational talent.”
Sometimes i just feel like Liz Lemon talking to fans on this site.
EDIT: this comment is in response to “thaenextbriankenny”
Well if you actually read my comment in full I said that some of them were debatable.
Altuve is debatable.
You are also wrong about him being not being a breakout until he was 26. He was an All-Star hitting .290 in his age 22 rookie season, and was an All-Star and MVP candidate when he was 24.
That said, I think he falls into the “debatable” category I mentioned. I don’t consider him a generational talent, but I included him in the potential list as he is currently among the best in the majors and has been an all-star 6 out of his 7 full seasons.
Regarding Stanton; to me, a “generational talent” must be an elite all-around player. Without looking at stats, I’d say Bonds, A-Rod, Griffey, would be the generational players of the 90s/00s, for example, as they hit for average and power, had speed and defense.
Stanton is just a big power hitter. He’s elite in that regard for sure, but he does not hit for average, does not steal bases, does not play GG defense, and strikes out a TON.
To me, to be “generational” you’ve got to be tops in at least 4 of those 5 things.
I said bad starts and first season, not full rookie season. You could very well be right that he might not be a generational talent, I’m just saying it’s too early to say he is not. That’s all.
We’re also looking at Acuna’s initial call-up. He’s only played 29 games. Machado played 52 games in his initial call-up, Trout played 40 games in his initial call-up, Judge played 27 games in his initial call-up.
Lmao did you just call Altuves 101 ops + season generational? My god
Get this guy outta here lol. Dumping on a 20 year old in the big leagues after dominating in the minors…..get a life man
Really…help me understand what is so remarkable about Acuna as he is hitting .265 at the age of 20 with a WAR of .06?
Acuña played 29 games before that nasty injury at first base playing elite defense in left field and a 112 WRc at the plate as a 20 year old. If he hadn’t gotten hurt, people would be drooling over acuña just as much as they are over Torres. Acuña is a legit 5 tool center fielder who is playing in a corner because of Ender. He Albies and Freddie are the present and future of the braves
Sure, but Torres isn’t even a generational talent, and I’m a Yankee fan.
Spoken like a true Yankee fan.
From your comment makes me think you just hating cause he ain’t in your team lol. Quit hating
Yeah, I’m so jealous of the Braves. Wish the Yankees had as many wins, and wish they had good young players like Acuna! lol
I think they meant he was/is the top prospect in all of baseball. And where he is at the time of his promotion is more advanced than most players that are the top prospect in all baseball. I don’t think they are suggesting he is Trout, Harper or Machado, but just that it is pretty rare that you seee that good of a prospect anywhere. Doesn’t mean he is a sure fire star, but he’s got a good shot.
I think they mean generational prospect, doesn’t mean he’s a hall of famer. Prospects this talented don’t come around that often. But I’m sure several prospects will ultimately end up being better than him because guys break out. (Jose Ramirez, etc.)
We’re really too quick to anoint stardom these days…..you earn descriptive phrases like generational talent after continued year after year success….
And, they meant exactly that he was a future HOF and so far there is no proof of that.
What underscores your comment about prospects this talented not coming around that often?
Let’s see how he performs over the next 10-15 years of so and then anoint him a “generational talent”.
If he is then how would Ted Williams, Willy Mays, Babe Ruth, etc be referred to today.
“And they meant exactly that…”
That’s not for you to decide, bud. Grow up and enjoy the great game of baseball….or get lost.
Who died and made you king of determining what a generational talent is? Dozens, if not hundreds of respected, long-tenured scouts made him the #1 prospect in baseball (Ahead of Otani and Vlad Jr). I’m gonna trust them and let the kid play 162 games. Kid can’t even buy a beer in the US and you think he can’t be great??
Jacob deGrom is who we really need!
Agreed. Syndergaard is most likely to be traded, but I see him going to the Cubs who seem to have a penchant for overlooking glaring problems with players they acquire (Heyward, Darvish, Chatwwood) and then overpaying. Braves do have the prospects to acquire deGrom, and I’m on board as long as Wisler and Toussaint are included.
Why does Touki need to be included? Just now starting to deliver. Not everyone delivers all the time right out of the gate. Many scouts believe he has a higher ceiling than everyone in our system.
Just watch. Acuna is very special
Agree, I don’t understand how people can throw Acuna, a 20 year old generational prospect, under the bus for a rough 2 weeks
Because some people think a 29 game sample is enough to throw him into the prospect bust category.
Which Acuna is coming back? The first 2 weeks of .293/.349/.534 or the last 2 weeks plus a day of .237/.303/.373.
Are you really going to judge a rookie (good or bad) based on 2 weeks of production?
Adam6710……Just questioning his current ability to adapt when pitchers adapt to him. It’s needed at all stages of play….rookie or veteran. He was scuffling in AAA. Personally I think they brought him up too soon to please the fans.
He’s 20, and you’re questioning his ability to adapt based on 2 weeks, smh
The best player in mlb in the last two weeks has been Matt Carpenter. I’d rather have Acuna on my team.
Maybe hottest hitter has been Capenter. Not best player.
No but don’t use the phrase “generational talent” either based on a good 2 weeks and a bad 2 weeks.
You could use it for a kid who dominated the minors at 19 and then was the MVP of the AFL….
The wheels are falling off it seems. Make a move AA.
Don’t make a move just to make a move! It has to be a SMART move for the future! Not just this season!
Good thing nobody said that about trout or judge
The wheels aren’t falling off when you have that much pitching depth. Why trade it now? Who even cares if the Braves finish in first this year? They’re in full-on 2019 world series mode right now, and look like one of the absolute best teams for the next decade. And you’d mess with that for this year?
I haven’t been given a chance in the bullpen yet.. Might as well give every fan at least one shot.
So, how many bench players does this team have now? Bourjos and Santana are both still on the team?
Maybe the Mets will take Acuna, Toussaint and McCarthy as an even up exchange for either deGrom or Syndergaard plus either Conforto or Nimmo.
NO way the Braves trade Acuna. In fact, has any team EVER traded away a #1 league prospect after 29 games in the majors ? Come on…
Juan Soto is better
2 months ago you would have said Robles was better.
The great thing is that baseball has several EXTREMELY young talented players right now! Acuna, Albies, Soto, Robles, and Torres all 21 or younger. That is just everyday players. There have been a few pitchers as well that have shown a lot of promise this season as well at 21 or younger.
It makes baseball very exciting with this many young players making huge impacts. With that said I am not sure you can say anyone of them is better then the other with this small sample size for all of them!
Good. They will now make excuses for injuries as for why they missed out on the playoffs instead of going for it this year.
This is not related with this post but I go to this site daily and I have not seen a post about the kzone epidemic across baseball this season. ESPN has ruined live baseball on tv, first it was them so I just stopped watching mlb on ESPN but now literally every broadcast has the kzone garbage and it’s maddening. We should do a poll to see the results on how many people actually enjoy the kzone bs up at all times during broadcasts.
Acuna gotta be moved down the line up when he gets back let him develop with minimal pressure bat him 7th or even 8th but get him out the 2 hole
I couldn’t agree more. While Acuna arrived with much fanfare and great expectations, he’s still a very young rookie who needs to be given time to develop into a major leaguer. Every top prospect isn’t Mike Trout who hits the ground running and accelerates. Bat him low in the order and only move him up when he shows sustained, consistent production. The 2 spot is too much pressure, and the last thing ATL wants is to have to send him back down because the pressure got to him.
Let Acuna become who he will, should be a solid player, the next Mays or Aaron ? That is a lot to ask from a 20 year old rookie. We will see.
Mike Schmidt was horrible as a rookie, just never know.