NEW YORK — The Atlanta Braves say Ronald Acuna Jr. had an MRI that revealed a mild abdominal strain and that the star outfielder is day to day heading into a series at Yankee Stadium beginning Tuesday.
Acuna was injured in the fourth inning of Atlanta’s 13-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night. He led off the fourth inning with a walk, and pitcher Kyle Hendricks threw over a couple of times while he was on first. It looked as if Acuna did something to his midsection on a dive back to the bag.
The All-Star was checked by a trainer while he was on second, but he stayed in. He got up slowly after diving home to score on Travis d'Arnaud‘s sacrifice fly, and then was replaced in the field in the bottom half.
Acuna is off to a terrific start this year, batting .419 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in 16 games. The outfielder also has scored a major league-high 21 runs. He was honored as the National League’s player of the week Monday.
The reigning NL East champions have been hit hard by injuries during a rough start to the season. Pitchers Max Fried, Drew Smyly and Sean Newcomb and outfielders Cristian Pache and Ender Inciarte have been placed on the 10-day IL since Wednesday.
Atlanta plays the Yankees in the Bronx on Tuesday and Wednesday before opening a home series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.
The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.
The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.
Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.
Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.
In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.