What a weekend!
Unfortunately, that is not a reaction to the Braves ending the first half of their season with a series win against the Marlins.
Over the past 48 hours, the Braves have experienced plenty of negative news, with a little bit of a silver lining for their future sprinkled in.
Away from the MLB action on the field, Michael Harris II and Drew Waters represented the Braves well in the 2021 MLB Futures Game on Sunday afternoon at Coors Field. A few hours later in Denver, the Braves went back to a familiar source with their first round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. With the 24th pick, the Braves selected flamethrower Ryan Cusick from Wake Forest University.
While a few current and new pieces of the Braves’ long-term future were featured yesterday, the short-term future for the big league squad is certainly up in the air. Now with Ronald Acuna Jr. sidelined for the season, there are many questions that will be answered about the Braves for the rest of 2021 in the coming days after the All-Star Break:
Will they be able to avoid any other serious injuries?
Can they make up any ground on the Mets with a tough start to the second half schedule?
How does the offense respond to the loss of Acuna Jr.?
Will they look to buy, sell, or do both before the Trade Deadline?
More information over the next few days could further indicate the answers to a few of these questions. Without a doubt, the first half of the season has been unexpected and unfortunate for the Braves. Hopefully with the needed break for the team, a stretch of good news will start with a needed positive update on one of their best young talents.
- A day after the Braves experienced the horrific injury to Acuna Jr., it was revealed that Braves’ starter Ian Anderson will have his shoulder examined over the All-Star Break. While it is too early to speculate on what the issue could be, or if it is just fatigue, the Braves certainly do not need any further injury issues with their talented core.
- While there has not been much to be excited about on the field over the past few months, the Braves’ brass certainly seemed excited about the addition of Cusick. Though the goal is obviously to make him a starter long term, the Braves realize he could have a short stint in the minors and begin his MLB career in the bullpen. At the very least, Cusick likely has one of the best fastballs in the Atlanta system moving forward.
- Some of Talking Chop’s best reacted to the Acuna Jr. injury and how it will impact the Braves moving forward. Demetrius Bell, as he always does, wonderfully captured just how impactful the loss of Acuna Jr. will be for the Braves and the rest of baseball.
- Cory McCartney joined 92.9 The Game to discuss what is now at stake with Acuna Jr. being unavailable for the Braves. The impact of his absence could go beyond just this season.
- Matt Powers and Eric Cole had the coffee flowing strong as they gave their initial reactions to the Cusick selection in the latest “Road to Atlanta” podcast.
- Overall, the 2021 MLB Draft was full of intrigue and surprises. That started with the very first pick, as the Pirates selected catcher Henry Davis as the top overall selection.
- From there, some of the more notable names in the draft went to some unexpected new homes. While Jack Leiter landed in Texas as some predicted, Kumar Rocker fell to the New York Mets with the tenth selection. The NL East overall had an outstanding first round, as the Nationals selected arguably the best power bat in the draft in Brady House at 11 while the Marlins chose Khalil Watson with perhaps the best value pick in the first round at 16. Many teams improved their future last night.
- One of the best stories during the first half of the MLB season has been the San Francisco Giants. In a sweep of the Nationals, the Giants secured the best record in the majors entering the All-Star Break. They certainly will make things interesting with the Dodgers and Padres in the second half of the season.
- The 2021 Home Run Derby is tonight and MLB.com has some great coverage of what to expect. They both analyzed the field and ranked the participants to setup some expectations for tonight’s festivities. With some notable names in the field, there could be a surprise or two that awaits MLB fans.