UPDATE - It now looks like Ronald Acuña Jr. will be suiting up in the Venezuelan Winter League after all for a small number of games. The Athletic’s David O’Brien reports that the Braves have given Acuña permission to appear in five games strictly as a DH.
After initially giving Ronald Acuña Jr. permission only to work out with his winter ball team in Venezuela, not play games, the #Braves compromised with their young star and gave him permission Friday to play five games, but strictly as a DH. https://t.co/rFXQ6yyJC0— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) November 4, 2022
Original story is below.
Ronald Acuna has reported to a Venezuelan Winter League team in his hometown. The Athletic’s David O’Brien reports that he will only work out with the team, however, and will not play games for the team.
Some Venezuelan outlets said Ronald Acuña Jr. reported to the Venezuelan winter league team in Acuña's hometown of La Guaira, waiting for #Braves to give him green light to play. But I was told today by Braves that he's going to be working out with the team, not playing games. https://t.co/ZnsmrfXji0— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) November 3, 2022
It is probably good for Ronald both to work out with a baseball team to hopefully regain full comfort with his repaired knee, still only a year and a half removed from tearing his ACL. It is also a pretty obvious move for the Braves to not let him play in games for the team, especially given how hard Ronald usually plays. I am not a medical expert, so I do not know what is the best tactic for having Ronald in the best shape to start the 2023 season is, regarding his knee, but hopefully his offseason allows him to both be free from the lingering soreness he talked about throughout the season and to be comfortable trusting his knee to fully perform it’s functions, which is always a challenge after major injuries.