Braves finally give Ronald Acuña Jr. much-needed off-day amidst struggles

The Braves have finally given Ronald Acuña Jr. his first off-day of the season.
May 14, 2024; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr (13) spits
May 14, 2024; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr (13) spits / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Ronald Acuña Jr. was on top of the world at this time last season. By May 15 of last season, Acuña had an OPS of 1.024, had hit nine home runs, and had 17 stolen bases. Of course, he wound up winning the MVP award after putting up one of the best offensive seasons in recent memory.

Fast forward to now, and Acuña looks completely lost. The 26-year-old has just a .696 OPS this season and has hit only three home runs. The Atlanta Braves have been winning but Acuña hasn't contributed much at all.

The Braves star had started every game this season heading into action on Wednesday but had yet to get going. With that in mind, Brian Snitker finally came to his senses and left Acuña out of the lineup for Atlanta's series finale against the Chicago Cubs.

Braves finally give Ronald Acuña Jr. much-needed day off for Wednesday's series finale vs. Cubs

Here's Atlanta's lineup as they look to sweep the Cubs at Truist Park.

To say Acuña needed this off-day would be an understatement. Giving him off for this game gives him the chance to clear his head and take the game in from a different perspective, and gives him an extra day of rest before Friday's series opener against the San Diego Padres.

Acuña went through a tough April, but it looked like he was finally snapping out of it when the calendar flipped to May. He recorded seven hits in his first 14 at-bats of the month, including putting together three straight multi-hit games. Unfortunately, since then, it's been a disaster for the reigning MVP.

Acuña has just four hits in his last 31 at-bats and has slashed .129/.250/.226 with one home run in eight games and 36 plate appearances. To make matters worse, he has been picked off three times in the last three games alone, which feels impossible for a player who stole 73 bases in 2023.

Getting picked off three times in three games is all Snitker should have needed to see to give him a day, and thankfully, he did.

For the Braves to get to where they want to be, they're going to need their best player to play like he is, in fact, the best player on the team, Yes, there's talent all over the roster, but Acuña is one-of-one. Hopefully this off-day will give him the reset he needs and he'll be ready to go over the weekend.