Ronald Acuña Jr. nears return; Kyle Wright and Adam Duvall are key to the Braves – The Athletic victory

SAN DIEGO — Ronald Acuña Jr. could begin a rehab trip from injuries as early as Tuesday, meaning help for the Braves is fast approaching on a large scale. Not only for their lackluster offense, but also for their beleaguered outfield defense, particularly in right field.

Acuña is nearly nine months away from surgery for a cruciate ligament tear in his right knee, which he injured two days before the All-Star break last summer. He plays extended spring training games at the Braves’ North Port complex in Florida and could join one of the minor league affiliates on Tuesday.

If the weather isn’t good at minor league locations, or if the medical staff decides he could use a few more days in the extended spring, it could be later in the week before Acuña begins his rehab assignment. Regardless, he’s getting closer, and the Braves look forward to finally getting their dynamic leadoff hitter and cannon-armed right fielder back in early May.

The Braves lost four of their last five games and hit three runs or fewer five times in their last six before Friday when Adam Duvall’s two-out, two-run double broke a tie with the Padres in the eighth inning. Duvall scored a 5-2 win at a sold-out Petco Park on a wild pitch in the inning for the final run.

Duvall is 1-on-2 with a double and walk with runners in goal position and two outs, having hit .393 (11-on-28) with four doubles, five homers and a team-best 1.433 OPS in those situations last season had a July trade with the Braves.

“It’s good to see him having such a great success. Ronald Acuña Jr. nears return; Kyle Wright and Adam Duvall are key to the Braves – The Athletic victory

Olly Dawes

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