3 reasons why Ronald Acuña Jr.'s injury won't torpedo the Braves' season

Losing the reigning MVP is never an easy thing to recover from but the Braves can do it.
Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates
Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages

Well, folks! The world is ending. And no, it was not the Earth setting aflame or a nuclear explosion that brought upon the end. Ronald Acuña, Jr., the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, is out for the rest of the season after tearing his ACL.

To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi, when the news broke, it was “as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.”

Perhaps this is slightly dramatic. But, after the injuries sustained by this Braves team, including AJ Smith Shawver, Sean Murphy, and Spencer Strider (also out for the entire season), the reactions and implications for the future of the team are understandable.

However, it’s important to remember, that this is the Atlanta Braves we’re talking about. The same ragtag Atlanta Braves, who in 2021 won the World Series with an 88-73 record and the power friendship. Here are some reasons why this team’s quest for another World Series ring is not over yet. 

On paper, the Braves' offense and defense are good

Recent games, especially the ones against San Diego, Los Angeles, and Seattle aside, the Braves are still technically good. They’re in the top ten amongst MLB teams in terms of batting average and OPS and, despite losses on the road, still have a positive run differential.

Admittedly, the team when runners are in scoring position leaves much to be desired. However, to say that the bats have completely gone dry is a bit of an exaggeration. Max Fried, Chris Sale, and AJ Minter are lights out on the defensive side.

Despite a run of scary starts, Reynaldo Lopez is also a hardy arm in the rotation. There are also prospects to be excited about. The team is good. They’re going through a difficult and frustrating rough patch, but they’re still good.

Atlanta's front office is competent

Alex Anthopolous and the rest of Atlanta’s front office know what they are doing. The last off-season alone, where the team signed Jarred Kelenic and Chris Sale, both of who have made an immediate impact, justifies the immense praise they receive.

The 2021 trade deadline signings are considered to be some of the best in recent years. Anthopolous and Co. understand what is missing from the depth chart, but won’t spend an excessive amount of money like some other teams to add missing pieces. They will likely look to the waiver wire and underperforming teams to find hidden gems to help them find an addition.

The Braves are a resilient ballclub

If the Atlanta Braves are anything, they are resilient. The Braves played mediocre baseball for the first half of the 2021 season. By the All-Star Break, they were four and a half games behind the division lead. The possibility of a World Series wasn’t even considered. What do they do? Win it all.

In 2022, the New York Mets held a 10.5-game lead. Though the division title race was long, eventually, Atlanta came out on top. This team has the strength and grit to make it through the season, though recent games may not be proof of that.

So, what are the next steps then? Shake the last couple of games off, and move forward. It’s only May, and there are five months of baseball left. The Atlanta Braves are still a good baseball team. They just got back Sean Murphy and Austin Riley from injury. If there was any time for the team to get a boost, now is the time. There’s still a lot of baseball left and they can prove to the fanbase and the rest of MLB, that they aren't going away that easily.

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