The Atlanta Braves are in need of a spark after a sluggish beginning to 2022 and could be getting one soon in the form of Ronald Acuna Jr.
From the beginning of Spring Training, Ronald Acuna Jr. has been saying he’s ready whenever the Atlanta Braves call his name.
The Braves, wisely, are going with a slow approach making sure their superstar is a full-go once he returns, because as we’ve already seen during his rehab assignment, once you unleash Ronnie, there’s no holding him back.
And now it looks like we could be seeing that energy at the big league level sooner rather than later.
Brian Snitker and Alex Anthopoulos have both commented on the fact that May 6 is the current target date, but if he responds well this week it could be sooner.
He’s expected to start three of four games in the outfield this week, which will be a big test. We already know he’ll be sitting out Tuesday’s afternoon game — even though they already had a scheduled off-day on Monday.
But if everything goes well this week, there is a good chance he returns on May 2 for a four-game series in New York against the Mets.
Braves — Acuna Showing He’s Ready at Gwinnett
It’s not just talk from Ronald Acuna Jr., he’s proving on the field that he’s ready.
Through five games with Gwinnett, he’s 5-14 with 6 walks.
But what’s really impressive is what he’s showing with his legs. He has 3 stolen bases, has run out an infield single, and scored from second on an infield single.
Acuna is doing his best to show everyone that the legs are just fine and when he comes up he’ll be just as aggressive on the bases as ever, which should strike fear into opposing teams.
The last hurdle is stamina, which is why it will be important to see how he responds this week to playing back-to-back games in the field.
If he passes that test, there is really nothing else holding him back from being recalled except a phone call.