Florida health officials have confirmed that Rays reliever Joel Peralta contracted the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus while in the Dominican Republic during the All-Star break.
Peralta was placed on the disabled list due to an assortment of flu-like (and worse) symptoms, telling the Tampa Tribune: “I just got sick and wasn’t sure why.”
He’s healthy now and off the disabled list, but it may take him a while to get back to full strength after experiencing fatigue, joint pain, and other problems.
Thousands of people in the Dominican Republic have contracted the virus, including several of Braves right-hander Ervin Santana’s family members, and so far there are 87 reported cases in Florida as well.
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.