B.J. Upton started his rehab assignment on Wednesday night in Gwinnett going 0-3 with a groundout, flyout and strikeout. He tracked down a couple flyballs in centerfield and, from what I’ve heard, ran well. This was his first rehab start since suffering a strained right adductor (groin) muscle on July 12.
I haven’t seen live pitching in over two weeks, to come out the first day and feel the way I did, I felt pretty good,” Upton said. “I took a couple of good passes on balls away from me. Overall, I am pretty satisfied today. I don’t see the injury being an issue tomorrow.”
Manager Fredi Gonzalez spoke on B.J. “For the first time in two weeks facing live pitching, the at-bats were good. He’ll go again (Thursday and Friday) and we’ll check with him and see if he needs a couple more days, more at-bats, before we bring him up here.”
Upton was removed in the 6th inning for precaution because it being his first game in over two weeks.
“I felt good out there,” said Upton. “Felt like I could have gone the whole game, at least at the plate but they want me to ease back into it. I could have turned it up a little bit more but I’ll stay on the safe side right now and crank it up tomorrow.”
Batting leadoff again on Thursday, Upton went 3-4 with two doubles, two RBI’s and three runs scored. That is the kind of night Braves nation is expecting out of the man and probably the nights he needs if he’d like to rejoin the MLB roster.
“See ball, hit ball,” said Upton. ”It’s been a while since I had some at-bats and I definitely showed some progression.”
Right now the Atlanta Braves seem to have found the roster that works. After winning the last six games in July, the Braves are red hot offensively and before the season started they were expecting B.J. to be in the middle of that lineup. But with early season struggles led into midseason pains, Upton needs to find his groove at the plate.
You never want to see anyone get injured but the groin strain, when he dove for a ball in centerfield, could have been the best thing for B.J. and the Braves. A Triple-A stint could be what Upton needed to find his swing and get his confidence back. May be fishing for something not there but hey, it’s worth a shot.
Upton was scheduled to do three games in Gwinnett and Friday will be his third. Without any setbacks tonight after the game or tomorrow, we will see Upton back in the Braves uniform and quite possibly in the lineup…where we like it or not.