Injury Notes: Acuña, Clevinger, Rockies

Injury Notes: Acuña, Clevinger, Rockies

Ronald Acuna Jr. He had a rather disappointing performance at the plate in 2022, coming off a season-ending right ACL tear in July 2021, but the dynamic three-time All-Star believes he’ll be back to full strength before 2023. feeling 100 percent and I’m ready to go back to normal, and I definitely don’t want to play DH anymore,” said Acuña Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal Constitution Saturday.

Acuña delivered a combined .925 OPS in his first 1,764 major league plate appearances between 2018-2021 before going to a .764 OPS in 533 plate appearances last year. He made 27 starts at DH for the Braves in 2022, after logging — or tying? – only one complete DH start over his entire previous four MLB seasons. Overall, he averages 38 home runs and 34 stolen bases for every 162 games played as a major leaguer. Last year: 15 homers, 29 steals in 119 games. As he gets further and further away from that knee injury, the NL East’s reign in the East should become more dangerous.

Acuña is going to DH in the Winter League final in Venezuela, against Toscana, and has also expressed his desire to represent his home country in the Winter Baseball Classic. But the 25-year-old outfielder noted David O’Brien of The Athletic that the Braves’ medical staff is unlikely to clear him to play in the upcoming WBC because it involves more time and physical commitment than the Winter League. Basically, they just want him to stay in camp.

  • Mike Clevinger he signed a one-year, $12MM contract with the White Sox earlier this winter. Soon after, he received an injection of platelet-rich plasma to help heal a knee injury that limited him down the stretch with the Padres last season and he posted a disappointing 4.33 ERA overall. With his knee on the mend, and his November 2020 Tommy John surgery fully in the rearview, the White Sox believe the 32-year-old right-hander can once again be a veteran atop the rotation. “We broke down some biomechanics stuff after we signed him to show him the differences,” pitching coach Ethan Katz told James Fegan of The Athletic. “Where he was different in every aspect of his delivery, which was like the knee … Now that he’s healthy, he’s working on it. Bullshit and the videos I’ve seen, there were no restrictions or anything that slowed him down from being able to be aggressive on that back foot.”
  • Ryan Rollison, the top pick of the Rockies in the 2018 MLB Draft and possibly a big rotation piece for their future, is 100 percent recovered from the left shoulder surgery that knocked his pro career off track last season. He didn’t pitch in an MLB-affiliated ball at all in 2022 and ultimately went under the knife in June. “We are better than we were a year ago,” Rockies GM Bill Schmidt told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post in a recent conversation, noting Rolison’s rebounded health. “We’ve created some competition for some guys,” Schmidt added. “And, overall, our organizational depth is better.” German Marquez, Kyle Freelandand José Ureña would seem to lock them into the top three rotation spots for Colorado. Rolison could possibly battle Austin Gomber and Connor Seabold at the back end. Peter Lambert (elbow) will also be healthy heading into camp and could get another look for an MLB start at some point in 2023.

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