Ronald Acuña hits first big league homer

Getty Images
11 Comments

It didn’t take long for baseball’s top prospect, Ronald Acuña, to make his mark. Yesterday he got his first hit, motored from first to third on a hustle play and then scored the tying run in the Braves win. Today he hit his first homer.

It was an upper deck shot off of Homer Bailey in the second inning. Come for the no-doubt-about it tape measure blast, stay for the Braves fan who caught it, grabbing his crap and running the hell out of there with it:

 

I don’t know where he was going with it. Given that he is an adult with a backpack at a ballgame, I assume he’s a ballhawk/autograph hound, so maybe he was running to put the thing on some memorabilia site. If he was smart — and a good person — however, he’d beeline for the Braves clubhouse entrance to give the ball to Acuña in exchange for some better merch that is not most notable for having Rob Manfred’s name on it.

I’m sure we’ll find out.

UPDATE: Acuña struck again in the eighth inning, doubling to right field and scoring Freddie Freeman to break a 4-4 tie. He then came around and scored to give the Braves a 6-4 lead. He has a single in this game as well, putting him a triple shy of the cycle. Reminder: he’s 20, and this is his second game.

Max Fried loses to Braves in salary arbitration

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried lost to the Atlanta Braves in salary arbitration and will make $13.5 million in the upcoming season instead of his $15 million request.

Mark Burstein, Fredric Horowitz and Jeanne Vonhof issued their decision a day after hearing arguments.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year in arbitration instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal.

He followed former Atlanta teammate Dansby Swanson in going to a hearing in consecutive years. Swanson, a shortstop, lost in 2021 and won last year, then signed a seven-year, $177 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

The last player to win hearings in consecutive years was pitcher Trevor Bauer against Cleveland in 2018 and 2019.

Fried, a 29-year-old left-hander, went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 2021, Fried pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.