Ronald Acuña Jr. injury update should help console Braves fans grieving over Freddie Freeman

Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Ronald Acuña Jr. may return to the Atlanta Braves lineup much earlier than originally expected.

The Atlanta Braves do not anticipate Ronald Acuña Jr. to miss all that much time for them right out of the gate.

Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said the idea is for Acuña to start out at DH beginning on April 21. By May 21, he could be returning to the outfield. Acuña last played for the Braves right before the All-Star break, tearing his ACL on the warning track down in Miami. He may only miss like a week or two of the regular season before being re-inserted into the lineup as the Atlanta DH.

His return to the top of the batting order will go a long way towards the Braves offsetting losing Freddie Freeman in free agency.

Ronald Acuña Jr. could serve as Atlanta Braves DH beginning on April 21

This would be a logical step to reintegrate Acuña into the Braves’ lineup. Having the universal DH is a huge boost to a National League offensive juggernaut like Atlanta. Though he may not be tasked with being much of a threat on the base paths, this allows more lineup flexibility for manager Brian Snitker to navigate. Of course, the outfield defense will take a big hit with this.

Yes, there are a lot of machinations in which Snitker can deploy his outfield. Assuming Acuña occupies the DH role for a month, it likely indicates Adam Duvall will man center, Eddie Rosario will be in right field and the presumptive DH for the time being Marcell Ozuna may be in left field. Of course, Atlanta may look to trade Ozuna and try to re-sign World Series hero Jorge Soler instead.

If Soler comes back, he would go in right and Rosario would be in left field. This would be very much the outfield defensive set up the Braves used for much of their postseason run a season ago. Of course, Soler has a more robust free agency market than anyone expected this time a year ago. He completely reshaped his market value by having a dynamic postseason with the Braves.

For now, Acuña seems to be on track to return to the Braves lineup in about a month or so.

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