Ian Stewart to return to Rockies’ lineup Wednesday

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We heard last week that Ian Stewart was a “longshot” to be ready for Opening Day, but it turns out he may cut things pretty close.

According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Stewart is scheduled to start at third base tomorrow against the Rangers. It will be his first Cactus League action since spraining the MCL in his left knee in a collision with teammate Carlos Gonzalez in the Rockies’ exhibition opener back on February 26.

Stewart actually appeared in a “B” game against the Angels yesterday as the designated hitter, finishing 2-for-4 with a walk. Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that Stewart originally expected to return to Cactus League action Thursday night, but the Rockies apparently felt encouraged enough by his progress to move up his timetable.

There’s still a chance Stewart will have enough time to be ready for Opening Day, but if not, Ty Wigginton is an obvious short-term alternative at the hot corner.

Report: Braves to promote Ronald Acuña

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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MLB.com’s Mark Bowman confirms a report from Daniel Álvarez Montes of EVTV Miami that the Braves are calling up outfield prospect Ronald Acuña from Triple-A Gwinnett.

The move is obviously much anticipated and expected, as Acuña is considered the top prospect in baseball among those who hadn’t been called up to the majors yet. Acuña has had a slow start with Gwinnett, as he’s batting only .215/.301/.277 in 73 plate appearances. However, he has turned things around somewhat in recent days, batting .379 with a double and a homer since April 17.

Acuña should be in Wednesday’s starting lineup against the Reds and he should be a lineup regular going forward. The expectations are high for Acuña, who signed with the Braves as an international free agent in July 2014.