Second-year Braves star Ronald Acuna was looking to join Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano as the only players to ever have a season with 40 homers and 40 steals. Alas, the quest will have to wait until next season. Acuna's sprained left groin will keep him on the shelf the rest of the regular season, the Braves announced Wednesday.
It's a bummer, as Acuna ends with 41 home runs and 37 steals, but the playoffs are more important and it sounds like the star outfielder will be ready to go next week. Plus, it's kind of a no-brainer to shut him down.
The Dodgers have clinched the top seed in the NL and the Cardinals can't catch the Braves, so it's going to be the Braves as the No. 2 seed in the NL. They really aren't playing for anything unless they were worried about potentially playing the Twins in the World Series and were trying to grab home field over them. That's far too specific a worry to chance Acuna not being ready for Game 1 of the NLDS.
Acuna, 21, ends the regular season hitting .280/.365/.518 (123 OPS+) with 22 doubles, two triples, 41 homers, 101 RBI, 127 runs (leads NL), 37 steals (leads NL) and 5.6 WAR (ninth among NL position players). Expect him to get some down-ballot MVP votes.