Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña’s return went about as well as possible, as he went 1-for-3 with two walks and a stolen base.
So much for taking things slow.
Just a few days ago, Brian Snitker warned that Acuña only knows one speed, and that as he ages, he’ll have to adjust.
“He plays with his hair on fire. He plays the thing hard. He’s done a really good job managing the (comeback from a knee injury), too. He’s gotten hot, he’s on base a lot, he wants to run, making plays in the outfield. Probably as he gets older and matures, he’ll probably need to scale back some of that a little bit because of the wear and tear on his body,” Snitker said, per The Athletic.
Braves should adjust to Ronald Acuña, not vice versa
What that means for the interim, however, is that the Braves might need to adjust to Acuña missing some time every now and then. His play-style is a little wild at times, as we saw again on Tuesday night. But it’s just who Acuña is as a player.
After Tuesday’s win, Snitker took a different tune.
“He’s just running so well,” Snitker said, per MLB.com. “I haven’t seen Statcast, but he looks like he is faster than he was before he got hurt.”
As long as the Braves are winning, surely Snitker won’t care. Acuña’s long-term outlook remains a positive one, but might explain the low contract Atlanta gave him just a few years ago. Despite having NL MVP promise, and the potential to make over $300 million if not more, Acuña signed an eight-year, $100 million.
Obviously, he’s worth more than that.
Atlanta got away with one, but it explains their outlook on Acuña as a star in this league — when healthy, he’s one of the best. But just how long will he remain healthy?
“I think the best thing I can do is to keep playing the way I play the game,” said Acuña. “If I try to do anything different, it would just diminish the game and it would diminish the way I play.”
Even the best of players need to be cautious sometimes — but at just 24 years old, Acuña shouldn’t limit himself.