“It feels like getting called up to the big leagues again” – All-Star Slugger was unable to contain his excitement after Atlanta Braves President asked him to suit up for on-field action; what does his return mean for the reigning champs?

Ronald Acuna Jr. made his long anticipated return to the defending World Series Champion Atlanta Braves last night. It was an emotional moment for the superstar outfielder, who couldn’t have come early enough for the ailing Braves. The face of the franchise Ronald Acuna Jr. finally returned to the Atlanta lineup as he hopes to pull the team to a winning record. In his absence, the Braves have stumbled into third place in the NL East behind the New York Mets and Miami Marlins.

Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. finally returned to the Atlanta Braves lineup
Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. finally returned to the Atlanta Braves lineup

The Atlanta Braves were lost without Ronald Acuna Jr. this season

Acuna Jr. was incredibly excited when asked by MLB.com how he felt. He responded, “It feels like getting called up to the big leagues again.” Acuna clearly missed the bright lights of the Majors. And as he made his long anticipated season debut at Truist Park, Braves fans let him know how much he was missed.

“The @Braves faithful welcomes back @ronaldacunajr24[email protected]

Acuna Jr. was on a torrid pace during the 2021 season and was positioning himself quite well for an MVP run. He was on pace to hit more than 45 homers and drive in more than 100 runs for a Braves squad that would eventually win the World Series. However, a torn ACL derailed the superstar outfielder’s season, forcing Acuna Jr. to sit on the sidelines while his team won it all without him.

Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves

While Acuna Jr. only went 1-for-5 in the Braves victory over the Chicago Cubs, he showed that his knee was at full strength as he swiped two bases.

“Two stolen bases for @ronaldacunajr24 tonight… Still very fast” – Bally Sports Braves

The Braves are going to need every ounce of Acuna’s greatness to get back on track if the team wants a shot at defending its 2021 World Series title. To his credit, Acuna is hungry to contribute in October. Watching his teammates win the World Series without him was a harrowing experience for the young outfielder. The Ronald Acuna Jr. that took the field against the Cubs in the series finale is hungry to prove he belongs among baseball’s elite. Will the young star rise to the occasion and lead his team into the next chapter? Time will tell.

Edited by Jason Birkelbach

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