The Atlanta Braves could be getting back Ronald Acuña Jr. even sooner than expected.
As Ronald Acuña Jr. works his way back from injury with Triple-A Gwinnett, the temporary Striper will be back with the Atlanta Braves in no time.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com reported on Saturday that while May 6 is the targeted return date for the Braves’ star outfielder, Acuña could return even sooner. The plan is for him to play some more right field at the Triple-A level before returning. If he feels good, Acuña could be back in the Atlanta lineup well before the targeted return date 13 days out. Braves Country better get ready for this.
With Acuña making his way back to the big leagues, the Braves could be going on an absolute tear.
Ronald Acuña Jr. return date: Atlanta Braves getting back outfielder in early May
It is not just his presence in the batting order that Braves fans are looking forward to. Acuña is every bit a five-tool player, as his speed on the base paths and his slick glove in the outfield will hopefully get the defending World Series champions back to playing at an elite level. If the 2022 Braves are a second-half team, that would be cool, but a better first half would be even sweeter.
With Freddie Freeman now with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Acuña becomes the unquestioned face of the Atlanta franchise. He might be the most talented player to don a Braves uniform since Andruw Jones, but the expectations are sky-high for the 20-something perennial 30-30 candidate. All the while, Braves fans are chomping at the bit to see No. 13 make his season debut.
Ultimately, it would still serve the Braves to gradually work Acuña back into the outfield rotation. Atlanta, as with every National League team now, has the luxury of the universal DH. If manager Brian Snitker just wants Acuña’s power bat in the lineup some nights to spare his legs, then he can feel free to pencil in his best player at lead-off while occupying the DH role. He will have options.
Within two weeks time, the defending world champions will be getting back their very best player.