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Ronald Acuña is on fire

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Ronald Acuña got a late start to the season as the Braves manipulated his service time and then got an unscheduled break in the middle of the season after being sidelined with an injury. That might have kept him from finding a groove for a time, but he’s certainly found it now. Indeed, the young man is on fire.

Acuna hit a leadoff homer against the Marlins’ Pablo Lopez in this afternoon’s game at SunTrust Park in Atlanta. The opposite-field blast was Acuña’s third leadoff homer of the season and the second he has hit within the past three days. He’s on an overall home run tear too, as he has homered in each of the Braves’ past three games. Nine of his 16 homers this season have come since moving to the leadoff slot on July 20.

For the year — as of this moment, as the game is still going on — Acuña is hitting .273/.332/.534. He’s on a 22-homer pace even though he’s going to play in not many more than 100 games this year. And he’s still just 20 years old.

Watch:

 

UPDATE: Acuña just doubled in two more runs, giving the Braves a 6-1 lead in the sixth inning. Make that batting line .276/.335/.539. Right after that Ozzie Albies knocked in two more. It’s a rout.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.