Blue Jays expected to activate Michael Saunders on Saturday

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MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays are expected to activate Michael Saunders from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. The Jays could have activated him for Friday night’s game, but as Chisholm notes, with the left-handed Drew Smily pitching for the Rays, it didn’t make too much sense to put the left-handed Saunders in the lineup.

Saunders tore the meniscus in his left knee in late February. He underwent surgery to remove the entire meniscus, which actually sped up his recovery process. There was some thought at the time that Saunders would be ready for Opening Day, but he’s only a few weeks late which is better than missing most or all of the season.

The Jays acquired Saunders in a December trade with the Mariners, sending pitcher J.A. Happ to Seattle. Saunders has battled many injuries over his career and owns a meager .685 OPS in 1,919 plate appearances spread out over parts of six seasons.

Ronald Acuña Jr. reaches a rare home run milestone

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Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. hit his 40th home run in today’s 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. In so doing he become only the third player to hit 40 homers at age 21 or younger, joining Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Eddie Matthews, who hit 42 and 47, respectively, before turning 22. Ott was only 20 in fact.

Home run marks are a dime a dozen this year, of course, so maybe you want to discount Acuña’s accomplishment. Even if you do, though, you can’t discount his wheels. He didn’t have a stolen base this afternoon but he does have 37 on the year and has over a week to swipe three more. If he does he’ll become a member of the exclusive 40/40 club. It’s only current members: Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano.

The Braves win clinches at least a tie for the NL East title. They’ll clinch the division outright if either they win or the Nationals lose tomorrow.