The Braves are awaiting an update on the status of star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., who suffered an abdominal strain that forced him out of Sunday night’s game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Acuna will be examined Monday, a Braves off-day, in New York. Atlanta will play the Yankees in a two-game series beginning Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Braves manager Brian Snitker told reporters that Sunday’s game ended too late for Acuna to receive the necessary exams in Chicago.
“So they’ll get it tomorrow in New York and we’ll know more then,” Snitker said, per MLB.com.
Acuna was hurt as he dived back into first base on a pickoff attempt by Cubs catcher Willson Contreras in the fourth inning. He pointed to his right midsection several times afterward. He stayed in the game after Snitker and a trainer came out to talk with him at second base, where he had advanced on a walk. Acuna later slid head-first into home on an inning-ending sacrifice fly double play. He again grabbed at his abdomen, and that is when Snitker took him out of the game.
The 23-year-old Acuna has carried the Braves’ offense this season aside from Atlanta’s 13-4 victory Sunday. He leads the team with seven home runs, 16 RBIs and a .419 batting average (1.373 OPS). His dazzling start has elevated his superstar status within baseball.
Atlanta is officially short in the outfield with Ender Inciarte (hamstring) and Cristian Pache (groin) both on the injured list. Acuna, Guillermo Heredia and Marcell Ozuna are the lone outfielders listed on the Braves’ 26-man roster. But third baseman Austin Riley and reserve infielders Johan Camargo and Ehire Adrianza all have played outfield in the majors.
Heredia, Atlanta’s center fielder at the moment, drove in six runs with a pair of home runs, one a grand slam, against the Cubs on Sunday.