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Braves Notes: Ronald Acuña Jr’s start, Travis Demeritte and more

Acuña continues to check all of the boxes from a medical standpoint.

Milwaukee Brewers v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Ronald Acuna Jr. will be in the Atlanta Braves’ lineup for the fifth straight game Tuesday night when they begin a two-game series against the Boston Red Sox. When Acuña returned, the Braves planned to ease him back into action. That plan hasn’t changed and some recent off days have helped, but Brian Snitker said that Acuña continues to check all of the boxes when it comes to his health.

“I go with what the medical staff says. We evaluate him every day after the game and when he comes in,” Snitker said of Acuña. “They have a plan and kind of let me know when to put him out there.”

Acuña has hit the ground running. He has hit safely in eight of nine games and is currently riding a six-game hitting streak. Despite the injury, he has shown no ill-affects when it comes to his speed. He’s already stolen four bases and has been aggressive on the basepaths.

“That’s it, I think he looks faster,” Snitker said. “I think he’s done a great job of just maintaining and being smart about things. He’s been put through probably every conceivable thing that he can do. Whether it’s a rundown, balls down the line, running through the bag hard, scoring from first. He’s passed all the obstacles that he’s had. I think this is just a testament to him and the dedication he had to his rehab.”

Acuña has tallied five hits in his last three games including a pair of home runs. He’s hitting .278/.366/.500 with a 148 wRC+ through his first nine games.

“You’re talking about a guy that’s a year older. That was good that he got to play all those days in a row. You could really see his at-bats getting better and the timing coming.”

Kyle Wright’s success

Kyle Wright will make his sixth start of the season in Tuesday’s opener against Boston. He has put together a strong start and has solidified his spot in the rotation in the early going. Snitker again talked about Wright’s added confidence and that he was able to find consistency with a full Triple A season in 2021.

“He seems like a different guy. He’s more on the attack,” Snitker said of Wright. “He’s more confident and trusting his stuff. He’s got another year of maturation and experience. I think just being the consistency and the starts last year, leaving him in one spot all year.”

Wright has given the Braves seven innings in each of his last two starts allowing four earned runs with five walks and 11 strikeouts.

Travis Demeritte taking advantage of his opportunity

Travis Demeritte returned to the lineup over the weekend and has continued to see action in both outfield corners. He’s hitting .268/.326/.463 with a 123 wRC+. He appears to have locked down an everyday role for the foreseeable future.

“He’s done a really good job, a fine job. He’s gotten an opportunity and he’s done something with it,” Snitker said. “There is a kid that’s been around. He keeps grinding and he keeps fighting through different things that he’s faced with. I think in the end, he’s ended up making himself a pretty good player.”