4:12pm: Riley has suffered a partially-torn LCL, manager Brian Snitker told reporters (including Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Riley is set to visit Dr. James Andrews on Monday to determine the full extent of the injury.
TODAY, 12:50pm: The Braves announced that Riley has been placed on the IL with a sprained right knee. No timetable for his return was provided. Right-hander Jeremy Walker is up from Triple-A in his place.
Aug. 7: The Braves will place third baseman/left fielder Austin Riley on the 10-day injured list due to an injured ligament in his right knee, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Riley sustained the injury in the weight room this week but didn’t initially believe it to be serious. His knee stiffened overnight, however, and he’ll undergo some testing to determine the extent of the issue. Atlanta will announce a corresponding move (and perhaps further details on the injury) tomorrow.
Riley, 22, debuted to great fanfare in Atlanta earlier this season and quickly established himself as a serious power threat in the Braves’ lineup. He’s homered 17 times in 255 plate appearances, but his considerable pop has been overshadowed by alarming contact issues of late.
Riley batted .298/.336/.628 with 11 homers in his first 30 big league games (128 plate appearances) but did so with a 32 percent strikeout rate, a .362 average on balls in play and a 29.7 percent homer-to-flyball ratio that’d currently rank fifth in MLB behind Nelson Cruz, Christian Yelich, Pete Alonso and Franmil Reyes if sustained. Suffice it to say, his instant success was impressive but didn’t appear likely to be fully maintained. A drop of this magnitude, however, wasn’t exactly foreseeable itself. Over his past 127 trips to the dish, Riley has batted just .183/.252/.374 with a strikeout rate of nearly 39 percent.
With his injury, the Braves will rely on a primary outfield trio of Adam Duvall in left, Ender Inciarte in center and Ronald Acuna Jr. in right field, with Matt Joyce serving as the fourth outfielder. Charlie Culberson figures to be the primary backup to both Josh Donaldson at third base and Johan Camargo at shortstop. Dansby Swanson is also on the injured list at the moment and is not yet ready to be activated, O’Brien tweets.