After going almost a month without him or Freddie Freeman (he is no longer a part of the organization) to provide that much-needed thump, the Braves are welcoming him back with open arms.
They are, after all, fourth in the NL East with a mediocre 8-11 record, a disappointing start for a team that won the World Series title just a few months ago.
Acuna will contribute his usual blend of power and speed, although it’s probably safe to assume he won’t be as aggressive on the basepaths, given that his knee was surgically-repaired in July.
Load Management Rules
Additionally, he isn’t coming back to be an everyday player immediately: he will come with a “user manual”, at least during the first few weeks from this point on.
“Acuña will play RF tonight and then take tomorrow off after traveling. He’ll be back in RF for Saturday night’s game against the Rangers. The Braves will then monitor his workload by occasionally using him as a DH. He likely won’t play a day game after a night game for a while,” Braves insider Mark Bowman explained via Twitter.
Acuña will play RF tonight and then take tomorrow off after traveling. He'll be back in RF for Saturday night's game against the Rangers. The Braves will then monitor his workload by occasionally using him as a DH. He likely won't play a day game after a night game for a while.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) April 28, 2022
The team just wants to be cautious with their star and perennial MVP candidate.
Nobody wants him to re-injure his knee and hit the shelf for a much longer period of time.
That’s why he will come, at least for now, with some “load management” rules.
In any case, he should be able to play most nights, and that’s all that matters for the Braves.
He is a difference-maker at the plate, on the field and on the basepaths, and as long as he is healthy, the Braves can keep up with the division-leading New York Mets.