The Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr. suffers an ACL tear and will be out for the season after an outfield capture attempt

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The Atlanta Braves lost their best player to a late-season injury. Ronald Acuña Jr. left Saturday afternoon’s game against the Miami Marlins with a right knee injury after attempting a jump into right field. He jumped for the ball, landed awkwardly, then descended towards the warning strip with obvious pain.

Later on Saturday night, the Braves announced Acuña suffered a complete ACL tear in his right knee. Tests have revealed the extent of the injury and he will undergo end-of-season surgery. Here’s the video of the game that caused the injury, which was a home run inside the park for Marlins infielder Jazz Chisholm:

Acuña remained on the ground for several minutes and initially attempted to leave the pitch on his own, although he was limping and feeling uncomfortable. Eventually he had to be transported. Non-contact knee injuries are rarely minor and they are here. One of baseball’s best players will be out until 2022.

With Saturday’s win (ATL 5, MIA 4), Atlanta improved to 44-44 this season, and they’re four games behind of a playoff berth. Needless to say, losing Acuña is devastating to their playoff hopes. Here is what SportsLine says of the impact of Acuña’s injury:

Braves with Acuña

83.2

19.3%

12.8%

1.6%

Braves without Acuña

81.4

12.4%

7.9%

0.6%

Switch

-1.8

-6.9%

-4.9%

-1.0%

The Braves are already without a finger-injured Marcell Ozuna awaiting investigation under MLB domestic violence policy, and receivers Travis d’Arnaud and Alex Jackson. Abraham Almonte, Guillermo Heredia and Ender Inciarte are the other outfitters on the club’s active list. Utility men Ehire Adrianza and Orlando Arcia can also play on the outfield.

Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos tends to be aggressive around the trade deadline and it stands to reason that he will seek help on the pitch before the July 30 deadline. Potential business targets include Joc Pederson (Cubs), Mitch Haniger (Mariners), Kole Calhoun and David Peralta (Diamondbacks) and Starling Marte (Marlins). Pederson, Calhoun and Marte are rentals.

Acuña, 23, is quite simply one of the best players in baseball, taking a .281 / .392 / .593 batting line with 24 homers and 16 stolen goals in Saturday’s game. Fans voted him to the All-Star Game as a starter, and he’s got the kind of season that would have earned him serious consideration as an MVP.



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