Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr. Shares 1-Word Message After Season-Ending Injury

Ronald Acuña Jr.

Getty The Braves have lost outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. to a season-ending injury. He shared a message on social media after the news broke.

The Atlanta Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 on May 26, but they also lost. Outfielder and reigning National League MVP Award winner Ronald Acuña Jr. left the game early after suffering a non-contact injury to his left knee on the bases.

Initially, the Braves announced Acuña was experiencing left knee soreness. News got much worse when it was learned he suffered a full tear of his ACL and would miss the remainder of 2024.

Acuña took to X (formerly Twitter) to share a one-word message with fans. “Sorry,” he said, accompanied by a broken heart and sad face emojis. 

His message was met with an outpouring of support. And it’s not just Braves fans who are saddened by this latest setback for the right-handed hitter. Not having Acuña healthy and on the field every day is a loss for baseball. X user Owen Suozzo said, “Ronald I am a Phillies fan, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling so sad that I won’t be able to see you play. Get well soon brother your a joy to watch and a gift to baseball. You always have this Phillies fan your corner.”

Acuña’s 2024 campaign had gotten off to a slow start. Through his first 222 plate appearances, he was hitting .250/.351/.365 with four home runs, 15 RBI, 38 runs scored and 16 steals. His bat was starting to heat up recently, though. He posted a .849 OPS over his most recent 33 trips to the plate.

Acuña Has Experienced Lots of Ups & Downs in Recent Years

Acuña created a new club in 2023 by slugging 41 homers and stealing 73 bases on his way to an MVP Award. He’s been one of baseball’s most electric players since debuting in 2018. But recently, it’s been hard for fans to enjoy watching him play a full year completely healthy. Here’s what’s happened over the past five seasons:

  • 2020: shortened season due to COVID
  • 2021: Tore ACL in right knee
  • 2022: Played in 119 games but was still fully recovering from that injury
  • 2023: Won NL MVP Award
  • 2024: Tore ACL in left knee

That’s a (mostly) rough stretch. It’ll be impossible for the Braves to replace Acuña. However, this is a situation Atlanta was in not too long ago. The club acquired Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler and Eddie Rosario at the 2021 trade deadline to help pick up the slack due to Acuña’s first ACL injury. Atlanta eventually went on to win the World Series. Rosario won NLCS MVP honors, while Soler won World Series MVP honors, per Baseball-Reference.

Braves’ Path to Another NL East Just Got a Little Tougher

The Braves have been the class of the National League East for the better part of the past decade. They’ve won six straight division titles, which has included consecutive seasons of 100-plus wins in 2022 and 2023.

Manager Brian Snitker has watched his club post a 30-20 record over the first 50 games of 2024. That’s a solid start, but they’re still six games behind the first-place Philadelphia Phillies, who are currently 38-16.

The Braves have already had to deal with significant injuries to other impact players like starting pitcher Spencer Strider and second baseman Ozzie Albies. Acuña’s latest injury will make an uphill battle that much tougher. But if there’s a team that can overcome obstacles to win a division title, it’s the Braves. Just ask the 2022 New York Mets about how no NL East lead is safe until the regular season is officially over.

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