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Ronald Acuña Jr will miss the entire preseason


FORT MYERS, Fla. — Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. will not see action in spring training, even as a designated hitter, as it is increasingly likely that he will miss at least the first month of the regular season.

“No. You won’t see it in a spring game,” manager Brian Snitker said after Atlanta’s 4-0 win over Minnesota on Tuesday.

Acuña Jr., who is recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee suffered midway through last season, expressed hope at the start of spring training that he would be ready for Game 1 for the champion Braves. defending World Series, April 7. It had been speculated that the universal designated hitter would provide a path for Acuna to return to the lineup before him if he were to play the outfield.

Instead, the Braves continue to take a cautious approach to rehabilitating Acuña, the team’s biggest unquestioned star after Freddie Freeman signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Snitker said Acuna hasn’t had any setbacks, but added, “He’s still in rehab, more or less.”

The Braves will have to prepare a field plan without Acuña for the start of the season.

Atlanta signed outfielders Eddie Rosario and Alex Dickerson earlier in the spring.

He also has Marcell Ozuna back with the team following his arrest last year on aggravated assault charges after police officials said they saw him attack his wife. Ozuna can start in left field or at DH.

The new depth will be important if Acuña is forced to miss a long stretch.

Although he stood by his plan for Acuna, Snitker said the outfielder continues to make progress in his recovery. The rehabilitation program includes batting, but no other baseball activities.

“He’s doing really well,” Snitker said. “…I think he has done exactly what they needed him to do.”

Acuña proclaimed “I’m ready” when the Braves opened camp on March 16. He is expected to eventually play right field, with Adam Duvall and Guillermo Heredia in center field.

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