After a historic National League MVP season, Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. has taken his talents to the Venezuelan Winter League. While Acuna is using the experience as a way to prepare, a recent inside pitch certainly gave the Braves a scare.
Playing for the Tiburones de la Guaira, Acuna was hit on the wrist by a pitch during a Thursday-night matchup, via Ben Verlander of Fox Sports. There's no word on if the HBP left any lasting injury.
Ronald Acuña Jr was hit by a pitch on the wrist last night 🤢 pic.twitter.com/x7PB0V0PbQ
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) December 1, 2023
Even in the offseason, Atlanta cannot afford for Acuna to get hurt. Coming off an MVP season, Acuna is at the center of the Braves' offense. If Atlanta wants to make a deeper playoff run next season, it'll need Acuna in the lineup as much as possible.
He made it through 159 games in 2023, a new career-high. He set the league on fire, hitting .337 with 41 home runs, 106 RBIs and 73 stolen bases. Acuna became the first player in MLB history to hit 40 home runs and steal 70 bases in the same season.
Despite his historic season, Acuna was still determined to play in the Venezuelan Winter League. He said playing in Venezuela last year helped propel him to his massive 2023 campaign, via Efrain Ruiz of MLB.com. He was hopeful that another trip to Venezuela would have him even more prepared.
However, those plans will be stopped in their tracks for now. With the Braves playing close attention, the Tiburones de la Guaira medical staff will monitor Acuna's wrist to see if it requires further medical attention. For as good as the star outfielder is, he needs to be on the field to put together masterful performances.