Articles about Ronald Acuña going through a lengthy slump were never something I expected to write; however, at this point, it has gone on for too long to ignore. The Braves superstar right fielder has looked like a shell of himself over the last few weeks, and it might be time for Brian Snitker to move Acuña out of the leadoff spot.
First and foremost, I want to be clear that this isn’t some Acuña hit piece. He remains one of the most talented players in the game, and it isn’t necessarily shocking that he hasn’t returned to an MVP-level of play right after suffering one of the most difficult injuries to recover from in sports. With that being said, sometimes mixing things up can flip a switch. Baseball is mysterious like that, and it sure looks like Acuña could benefit from relieving the pressure that comes with leading off. He’s hitting just .191 over his last 16 games and hasn’t homered since July 8th.
I wouldn’t blame Snitker for going one way or the other, and I think it primarily comes down to how the player feels. If Acuña loves batting leadoff and wants to take his lumps at the top of the order, so be it. But if he’s indifferent, a change should be in order. The Braves have several guys who can lead off — Dansby Swanson and Michael Harris II, to name a few. Plus, it might actually be beneficial to have Acuña hitting in the middle of the order. Once his power comes back, he could potentially be a menace hitting behind Matt Olson and Austin Riley.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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