What Will Be The Legacy of Braves’ Superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. After Another ACL Injury?

What an absolutely heartbreaking disaster for the Atlanta Braves and their superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. After faking on a delayed steal while at second base, Acuña fell to the ground with a non-contact injury and was in clear pain; an MRI revealed that he has a torn ACL in his left knee. He tore his right ACL back in 2021.

In the short term, the Braves will have to find a replacement for Acuña this season. Acuña was off to a notably slower start this year after his sensational, historic MVP season last year. He was slashing .250/.351/.365 with just four home runs, 15 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 49 games. Obviously, despite not putting up the gaudy stats, he is an enormous difference maker at the top of the Braves lineup with his unique blend of speed and power.

To this point in the year, Jarred Kelenic and Adam Duvall have been splitting time in left field based on pitching matchups; but now both will be in the lineup every day until the Braves can potentially make a move. Maybe in the back of Atlanta fans’ minds, they remember that after Acuña got injured in 2021 their team acquired Jorge Soler, who went on to win the World Series MVP. 

Ronald Acuña suffering his second ACL tear in three years is nothing short of a disaster for baseball. Yes, it most directly affects the Braves, but fans of the game are also being robbed. With such severe injuries happening in a relatively short amount of time, the question can’t helped being asked: how will this impact Acuña for the rest of his career?

The comparisons to Eric Davis are interesting. A star for the Reds who had 30/30 ability, but he struggled to play more than 100 games after turning 30. The stats are similar, and the skill seems comparable to Acuña.

Eric Davis and Ronald Acuña Jr. through 7 seasons

It’s disheartening to think we are witnessing a ‘what-if’ type of player in real time. If you’re an optimist, you can look at how Acuña bounced back from his first ACL. After a recovery year, he had one of the greatest offensive season ever and won the NL MVP. If you follow the same trajectory, Acuña will be 28 when he has another fully healthy season. He’s young, and he’s talented, so that should instill some hope in baseball fans that he will be able to continue to play at a high level.

The pessimist will say it does feel like a bit of a fallacy that he returns to form. After all, tearing your ACL is a tough recovery; but how many players, across any sport, bounce back from two different ACL tears and find success at a high level? The brain can’t help but go to such dark corners of the crueler side of sports.

Hopefully Acuña’s rehab and recovery is simple and smooth, and we see him on the diamond sooner rather than later. Can he emerge from the ashes of injury yet again, or will we be talking about him in 10 years asking, “what if…?”

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *