According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jason Heyward finally conceded that the injury to his left thumb is “a real problem.” He will sit out the next two days in order to see a hand specialist.
The thumb has bothered Heyward since late last month and it shows in his rather steep drop in production. The 20-year-old outfielder is batting just .181/.287/.245 with one home run, seven RBI and a 32/13 K/BB ratio over 94 at-bats this month.
He now has a .251/.366/.455 batting line to go along with 11 homers and 45 RBI over his first 255 at-bats in the big leagues. Still pretty impressive numbers for a rookie, but he was batting .301/.421/.596 with a 1.017 OPS on May 30. The Braves have already had some pretty dreadful luck in their outfield this season, so hopefully the injury doesn’t keep him out for long.
The Braves have made it official, announcing that they have called up top prospect Ronald Acuña. He’ll bat sixth in tonight’s game against the Reds and will start in left field.
Acuña will be wearing number 13, no doubt to honor past Braves luminaries like Adonis Garcia, Nate McLouth, Ozzie Guillen, Juan Eichelberger and Jerry Royster, all of whom have worn the fabled 1 and 3. Feel like he stands a pretty good chance of besting their exploits.
The 20-year-old Acuña was 11-for-his-last-33 with a homer, a double, four walks, and three stolen bases at Triple-A Gwinnett following a slow start. He tore it up in spring training, however, and hit .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs, 82 RBI, 44 stolen bases, and 88 runs scored in 139 games last season across three levels of the Braves’ minor league system.
The future was delayed a bit, but it’s here now for the Atlanta Braves’ phenom.