Ryan Howard sat out last night’s game after fouling a ball off his right foot and is also expected to get a cortisone injection in his sore left ankle today, so he’s unlikely to be back in the Phillies’ lineup before Thursday.
Howard would almost surely play through bursitis in his ankle if the Phillies hadn’t already clinched the division title and weren’t a near-lock for homefield advantage. Or as the former MVP put it: “The focus is towards October and being healthy for October.”
As usual Howard is knocking in a ton of runs, leading the league with 113 RBIs, but he’s also posted career-lows in batting average (.249), slugging percentage (.490), and OPS (.833) while hitting just .237 in 120 games since a strong April.
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.