Ronald Acuna Jr. fouled a ball off his left foot during Saturday’s game, and the injury eventually forced the Braves star to leave the lineup. While x-rays were negative, Acuna told reporters (including ESPN’s Marly Rivera) today that a trip to the 10-day injured list is a possibility “because I can’t put any weight on my foot.” To this end, Acuna had to use a scooter to get around the clubhouse today, though he wasn’t wearing a protective boot.
The Braves don’t play on Monday, so the team might take an extra 48 hours to evaluate Acuna to see if an IL stint is indeed necessary. However, it is probably likely that the Braves play it safe and put Acuna on the injured list, given his health history and his import to Atlanta’s lineup.
It has been almost two full months since Acuna was activated from the injured list, after his right ACL tear prematurely ended his 2021 season last July. Acuna has hit .281/.372/.455 with seven home runs over 196 plate appearances in 2022 — well above-average numbers, though actually a step behind the MVP-level production Acuna generated in 2018-21. The Braves eased Acuna back into action with some DH days early in his return, though he has played his last 20 games in right field.
If Acuna does have to visit the IL, it will further hamper an Atlanta club that is already missing Ozzie Albies due to foot surgery. On the plus side, the Braves have been able to get by just fine without Albies, as they are baseball’s hottest team in June — Atlanta is 19-4 this month, heading into tonight’s game with the Dodgers. With Acuna out, the Braves could give Guillermo Heredia more playing time, or use Marcell Ozuna more as a corner outfielder than as a designated hitter.