Ronald Acuna Jr. discusses the knee pain that kept him out of action in consecutive losses.
Hello! Ronald Acuna Jr Street. Lewis – When Ronald Acuna Jr. is healthy and playing to his full potential, there are no more than a few other baseball players who are dynamic and influential in many aspects of the game. It really is a sight worth looking at.
But just over 13 months after major knee surgery, Acuña hasn’t returned to full tilt, at least not every night.
He can look like his star in a game or series, or for a week or two. But there are extended periods of games, sometimes several weeks, when Akuna just seems like a good player rather than a player of a generation. And there’s an obvious reason: His right knee still bothers him.
It’s confirmed that this is normal for some athletes just over a year after his ACL surgery in July 2021. But that doesn’t make it easy for a man who is usually one of the most popular, fun and energetic baseball players, as well as one of the most talented Unusually.
“They made it clear to me that this would just be part of the procedure and part of the comeback process and everything,” Acuña said through a team interpreter before the end of Sunday night’s series in St. Louis, his second straight game (and loss) being suspended due to knee issues. “Honestly, I’ve been in some pretty intense pain for the past couple of days. And that’s all I’ve never really experienced before in my life, so it’s new to me.
“And so with that, that’s why we kind of take it simply and try to get away a little bit from that.”
He missed the last two games of the series in St. Louis and the Braves lost both times, with the Bulls exploding late each night. In Saturday’s 6-5 loss, Kenley Jansen blew a lead in the ninth round, and in Sunday’s 6-3 loss, AJ Minter entered with a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning and yielded two homeowners and four runs.
Minter dumped his teammates in his first and last throws in the eighth, with Tommy Edman leading 425 feet in a fastball over the middle and 423 feet from three runs by Tyler O’Neill, the latter coming after Minter hit superstars Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado respectively with two at the base. (The contestants arrived for a walk and Austin Riley mistakenly made a difficult play while trying to make a sacrifice.)
The Cardinals’ Tyler O’Neill runs the rules after hitting the home green light from Braves’ AJ Minter. (Jeff Carey/USA Today)
“What a game to play,” Minter said. “Come out there and break your heart one night, and then go out and be the champ and you’re on top of the world. Man, it was a tough loss, but it was a great match. Proud of the guys.”
The Braves 3-2 took a seventh-place finish on a stunning two-and-three-stroke Dansby Swanson to the straight with a 100.1 mph sprint finish from Ryan Helsley, who had just come on a break from Adam Wainwright. This was the fourth toughest pitch any Brave has ever done in the pitch-tracking era, which began in 2008.
Braves rookie Jake Odorizi was rocking until the moment Lars Nutbar played in the sixth inning, a drive in the opposite direction down the left field line on a fastball out of and over the area. Three songs in a row followed, the last two by Goldschmidt and Arenado, leaving Odorizzi 2-0 down.
It was Odorese’s second strong start on the two-city trip, having struggled in his first three with the Braves after a deal from Houston. After simplifying his delivery to improve his direction to the plate during the August 17 rain delay against the Mets, Odorizzi delivered more aggressively and allowed eight hits, three runs and one walk with 11 strikes in 11 2/3 innings against the Buccaneers and Cardinals.
Swanson has taken the lead in the last two nights, but when the Braves play Tuesday against Colorado, they will be hoping to reclaim Acuña at the top of their standings and Swanson in a familiar second spot.
Braves manager Brian Snitker noted that Acuña favored the knee ahead of Friday’s series opening. He was hoping keeping Acuña out of the squad for two days, along with Monday’s team day off, would help him feel better when the Braves start in a six-game home against the Rockies and Marlins.
The Braves need to stack up on wins while they have a good chance at home. They track NL East leaders the Mets by three games and fail to capitalize after the Rockies beat the Mets 1-0 earlier on Sunday at the start of Max Scherzer.
Snicker said of Akuna’s injury: “It’s something we know he’s going to have to fight through, and when we give him a few days we’ll see. I don’t know if it’s going to go away at any point; I think that’s going to bother him the rest of the summer, and then he’s into normal off-season training and training. In the spring, it should be fine.
“I know he’s good structurally. It’s just inflammation in there that makes him uncomfortable. I feel like a kid. I mean his legs are such a big part of his game. It’s hard for him to run and stop, and all that. I guess, because the legs are a big part of the beating.”
Ronald Acuna Jr
It’s not that Acuña’s stats are bad by an average player’s standards. But he is far from an ordinary player, and his stats pale in comparison to what he did before.
Acuña was a near-unanimous pick as the NL Rookie of the Year over Juan Soto in 2018. He finished fifth in the MVP vote in 2019, his first full season, won Silver Slugger Awards in 2019 and 2020 and earned each of the past three NL teams All-Star.
Having achieved a total of .281 with .925 OPS and 138 OPS+ during his first four seasons and averaging 43 homers and 32 loot bases per 162 games in that period, Acuña has achieved .274 with .774 OPS and 115 OPS+ in 91 games this period. year, with 10 house hovering and 25 thefts (and a Major caught 10 steals).
“Yes, it is very frustrating,” Acuña said. “Because first of all, I’ve never experienced anything like this before. So it’s all new to me. And secondly, the pain is something that I feel kind of limits my ability to run, mostly. I don’t think it affects my ability to hit or any Something like that, but I think sometimes when I run, I feel the limitation there just from the pain. I told them I’m ready, I’m fine. But at the same time, I think we want to be careful about it and make sure everything is OK because As much as I want to be able to contribute to these regular season matches, I also want to be ready for the post-season.”
Although he initially said in the interview that his knee bothers him when he runs but doesn’t think it affected his injury, Acuña’s answer was slightly different when asked a few minutes later about his confidence as he rotates on his knee while swinging. , where much of his power is generated.
“The confidence is there, but sometimes I don’t want to spin because I don’t know if my knees will let me,” he said in an answer interpreted by a Spanish speaking person The Athlete employee. “I want to run, but I can’t. It’s as if my body won’t let me. I don’t know what’s going on (in those cases). But we’ll keep going. We’ll move on. What else can we do?”
Acuña, who started the season on the injured list, was activated on April 28. He played so well initially that some observers thought his recovery abilities might be as formidable as his baseball skills. Braves expedited an initial plan that stipulated rest on days of travel and daytime games after night games, as well as no playing every day on the field until the anniversary of surgery. Play started every day on the right field on June 3.
Having hit .307 with six homers, .407 OBP, and .923 OPS in his first 33 games through June 13, Acuña has hit .257 with four homers, .345 OBP and .693 OPS in his past 58 games . After stealing nine bases without getting caught during the month of June, he’s been arrested six times in his past 18 attempts.
“They tell me that’s something that happens when you take these operations, these procedures, and it’s just part of the process,” Acuña said of the discomfort or pain in the knee. “And I told them as soon as they told me it was normal and then it calmed me down. I’m fine. I hope you take these days and be careful with it, you get to the point where I can play again without any pain. Because I think being able to play is 100 percent Make a big difference.”