The Atlanta Braves are slowly falling apart approaching the postseason, and they just lost one of their best players in the lineup.
The Atlanta Braves are slowly falling apart approaching the postseason, and they just lost one of their best players to an injury. Slugger Ronald Acuña Jr. is out of the lineup for the third game in a row, and the Braves are to blame for bringing him back before he was fully healed.
Acuña has been rehabbing a plethora of injuries this season, the most recent being a back one and others including a knee, lower body, foot and quad. Because of this, he’s been underperforming this season and has stated that he plans to “play through the pain” to help his team in the final stretch of the season.
Acuña tore his ACL in 2021 and missed the latter half of the season, so his recent issues are likely tied to that.
The Braves have been doing fairly well, trailing the New York Mets in the NL East standings by just 2.5 games, and are fighting hard to be successful in the postseason. They have talent, but it’s falling apart before their eyes. Several of their key players aren’t doing well, which may cause them to miss out on their potential.
Braves may have sabotaged their own postseason success with handling of Ronald Acuña Jr.
The defending World Series champions are almost guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. According to FanGraphs, there’s a 100 percent chance they’ll make it. However, they may not be able to claim the top NL East division spot by the end of the regular season with several players underperforming and not in full health.
Aside from Acuña, Matt Olson has also been underperforming. He had a lot of pressure to do well considering he was Freddie Freeman’s replacement. He’s unfortunately having a flop season, hitting .233/.319/.451 for an OPS of .770. He has an alarmingly high strikeout percentage of 24.1.
Spencer Strider, one of the best starting pitchers in Atlanta, is also now on the injured list and out for the rest of the regular season. There are a few other pitchers that are reliable and talented, but the overall spot of the team isn’t ideal entering the playoffs.
The Braves could’ve at least avoided Acuña’s absence to this extent, but he came back prematurely.