Return of Ronald Acuna Jr. still scheduled for May 6

The Atlanta Braves have set May 6 as a potential target date for Ronald Acuna Jr.Back on the active list, but manager Brian Snitker told reporters there’s a lot of flexibility built into that plan, according to David O’Brien of The Athletic. So far, Acuna is three matches in his minor league detox quest.

Next week is going to be very important because I think he’s expected to play long defensive games, like 3 out of 4 days, something like that,” Snitker said, via O’Brien. “By the end of next week, they will have a very clear read of where his body may be.”

Acuna tore the net of his right ACL last July 10, so it will only be a 10-month absence if he returns for the May 6 game against the Brewers. Despite the severity of the injury and the obvious caution the Braves took with their superstar, Acuna’s detox went as smoothly as possible. Snitker even made it clear that if Acuna’s next week goes particularly well, the quarterback could even be back on Atlanta’s roster before May 6.

The defending World Series champions have a 7-8 record going into Saturday’s game against the Marlins, due in part to an overall lack of production from the outfield. While Marcell Ozuna had great success, Adam Duvall, Eddie Rosario, Guillermo Heredia and Alex Dickerson (who has played mostly DH) have all struggled, so getting Acuna back into the correct field every day would immediately strengthen things.

While it might not be fair to expect Acuna to immediately pick up where he left off in 2021, even a slightly stripped down version of Acuna remains one of the game’s best players. The midfielder has done nothing but tackle since his debut in 2018, and he hit .283/.394/.596 with 24 home team players in his first 360 appearances of the season. 2021 before tearing the ACL.

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