Oswaldo Arcia was Minnesota’s starting right fielder when he was shut down with a wrist injury during the first week of the season and now that he’s finally healthy six weeks later the Twins have decided to demote him to Triple-A.
It’s an odd move in part because Arcia spent most of last season in the majors and more than held his own, hitting .251 with 14 homers in 97 games for an above-average .734 OPS at age 22, and in part because with Josh Willingham also injured the Twins have been using light-hitting infielders like Eduardo Nunez and Eduardo Escobar in the outfield corners and are also giving lots of action to a seemingly washed-up Jason Kubel.
So instead of just sticking Arcia back in the lineup where he ended last season and began this season they’ll keep trotting out a patch-work outfield and force him to spend more time at Triple-A, where he’s hit .311 with a .978 OPS in 50 career games.
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.