Yesterday we heard that Kendrys Morales may begin the year on the DL. Today Mike Scioscia elaborated on that, and it doesn’t sound good:
“It’s not a setback; there are just some plateaus guys hit,” said Scioscia. “You can’t force things. He’s going to keep working, keep moving forward.”
One thing that I wonder: how much of his “plateau” has to do with conditioning? I didn’t write about it when I was at Angels camp in Tempe, but Morales does look to be a tad roundish and out of shape. Which, on some level, is understandable given that his particular injury — his ankle — makes running and getting on an exercise bike troublesome. But it also can’t help a guy trying to work out at first base after so much time off.
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.