Braves' Acuna could return next weekend from disabled list

    Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is progressing in his recovery from a sprained left ACL, Mark Bowman of explains, and could return as early as next weekend. The 20-year-old phenom, who went down May 27, would only miss around three weeks in that scenario. Acuna’s injury looked like a potential season-ender when it occurred, making his quick recovery all the more welcome for Atlanta. “What he’s doing right now is amazing after looking at what happened,” manager Brian Snitker said. “What he’s doing now is really good.”

    More injury notes from around the NL…

    • Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto is “cautiously optimistic” he’ll be able to come off the 60-day DL when he’s first eligible (June 30), Chris Haft of writes. Cueto hasn’t pitched since suffering an elbow injury at the end of April, when he was among the majors’ best starters (0.84 ERA, 2.74 FIP in 32 innings). But even without Cueto and ace Madison Bumgarner, who just made his 2018 debut Tuesday after his own lengthy absence, the Giants have managed a 32-31 record to stay in the thick of what has been a mediocre NL West.
    • The Brewers expect first baseman Eric Thames back at the beginning of the upcoming week, Joe Bloss of relays. Thames landed on the DL on April 27 with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, derailing a start in which he slashed .250/.351/.625 with seven home runs in 74 plate appearances. Fellow first baseman Jesus Aguilar has been outstanding in Thames’ absence, however, with a .296/.369/.556 line and 11 homers in 187 PAs this year.
    • Phillies pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez is headed to the DL with right elbow inflammation, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. The club doesn’t believe it’s a serious issue, however. The 19-year-old right-hander, Baseball America’s 16th-ranked prospect (subscription required), has logged a 2.51 ERA with 8.68 K/9 and 2.12 BB/9 in 46 2/3 innings at the High-A level this season. He was closing in on a Double-A promotion prior to the DL placement, according to Salisbury, but that’s now on hold.
    • The Pirates have sent righty reliever Richard Rodriguez to the DL with shoulder inflammation, Elizabeth Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. The club recalled righty Dovydas Neverauskas from Triple-A in a corresponding move. Pittsburgh doesn’t expect Rodriguez to miss a significant amount of time, but even a short-term absence could hurt. The 28-year-old rookie has burst on the scene with a 2.38 ERA and 13.1 K/9 against 1.19 BB/9 in 22 2/3 innings this season.
    • The Rockies placed lefty reliever Mike Dunn on the DL and recalled righty Jeff Hoffman from Triple-A on Friday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post tweets. Dunn’s dealing with an upper-body injury – a left rhomboid strain, to be exact. The DL placement continues what has been a trying second season in Colorado for Dunn, who inked a three-year, $19M guarantee with the team entering 2017. So far in 2018, the 33-year-old has posted a 9.00 ERA with more walks than strikeouts (17 to 12) in 16 innings.

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