For a second straight game, Ronald Acuña Jr. was not in the lineup Saturday as he works through an ankle injury he sustained Thursday against the Blue Jays.
Acuña has made progress over the last few days and also got some time in the cage ahead of Saturday's game against the Brewers. However, the Braves are being cautious and are taking their time before placing Acuña back into the lineup.
“He’s walking around OK," manager Brian Snitker said. "It's just still bothering him a little bit, so let's wait and see how he is tomorrow when he comes in.”
Snitker emphasized how Acuña is moving around OK and walking on his own, but as Snitker said his range of motion off the field is a totally different story. Although Acuña had some time in the cage, he will not be making an appearance in Saturday's game. Instead, Ehire Adrianza will lead off for the Braves and play right field.
“I've been really impressed with [Adrianza] ever since Spring Training, not knowing who he is coming in and the spring that he had, the versatility, but he’s a great kid,” Snitker said. “He's fit right in here. A very professional approach, consistent in his approach and stays ready.”
Heredia returns to outfield
The Braves outfield has been riddled with injuries this season, including No. 1 prospect Cristian Pache once again being placed on the 10-day IL, this time with right hamstring inflammation. Luckily for Atlanta, one of its hottest hitters has returned to the lineup: Guillermo Heredia.
Heredia returned from his rehabilitation assignment and was reinstated from the 10-day IL ahead of Saturday's game. To make room on the roster, Atlanta optioned Johan Camargo to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Sidelined since April 30 with right hamstring inflammation, Heredia was slashing .300/.429/.575 with two home runs before his injury. Heredia got the start in center in Saturday's game, batting eighth.
On Friday, Ender Inciarte was activated from the injured list to fill Pache’s spot in center field. However, with Pache and Acuña both on the IL, expect Snitker to rotate Inciarte, Heredia and Adrianza going forward.
“We don't have to tax either one of those guys, I think we kind of divvy up the workload and, hopefully, keep them both upright,” Snitker said.
Depending on how well the Braves' new-look outfield performs, the team could potentially option Pache to Triple-A Gwinnett when he returns. Pache has struggled so far this season, hitting .111/.152/.206 with just one home run, a grand slam against the Blue Jays on May 1.