MAY 9: Fortunately, it seems Acuna avoided any major injury. The Braves announced last night he was day-to-day with a left pinky contusion and that X-rays had come back negative. After the game, manager Brian Snitker told reporters (including Mark Bowman of MLB.com) the team “dodged a bullet” and said Acuna could be back in the starting lineup as soon as this evening if he feels fine during pregame batting practice.
8:59PM: Ronald Acuna Jr. was removed from tonight’s game in the seventh inning after the Braves star was hit in the left hand by a pitch. Phillies reliever Sam Coonrod hit Acuna with a 97.8mph sinker, and Acuna almost immediately left the field (in visible pain) after a visit from the trainer.
More will be known post-game, though the worst-case scenario would be a serious hand injury that would sideline Acuna for several weeks or months. Such a loss would be a potential disaster for an Atlanta lineup that has been inconsistent despite Acuna’s MVP-level performance thus far in the season.
Through 137 plate appearances, Acuna is hitting .313/.409/.652 with 10 home runs. Entering Saturday’s action, Acuna was leading the NL in both slugging percentage and OPS, and was leading the majors in both homers and runs scored (29). With Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Marcell Ozuna, Dansby Swanson, and (the currently injured) Travis d’Arnaud all off to slow starts in 2021, it isn’t a huge exaggeration to say that Acuna has carried the Braves’ offense.
This isn’t Acuna’s first injury scare of the season, as he suffered a mild abdominal strain that forced him out of a game back on April 18. That issue ultimately didn’t require a visit to the injured list, however, and Acuna was back in action by April 23. It should be noted that Acuna has hit only .200/.328/.400 in the first 61 PA since that abdominal injury, though some regression was probably inevitable after Acuna’s red-hot start.