Jun 26, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder B.J. Upton (2) waits to take batting practice before the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves B.J. Upton Injury Update


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.

May 9, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder B.J. Upton (2) stands on deck during the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT

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.

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  • Joseph Fain

    Why would we be in a hurry to bring Upton back with the way the ball club is playing? I would give him at least a week in AAA to work on his swing which has been so flawed all year long. When he does return, I would basically rotate giving the outfielders, Freeman, and McCann days off using Gattis. That way Gattis gets to play a lot and the other guys are getting an extra day off every few games so that they stay fresh for the playoffs. BJ gets August and the first part of Sept to prove he can hit. If he doesn’t, then he gets benched for the last two weeks of the season so we can get the lineup stabilized for the playoffs.

    • cheadrick

      We’ve discussed this among our staff for months. Outside of any logical reason, it’s simply politics. Benching B.J. would be the equivalent of Frank Wren admitting he made a bad move getting B.J. to start with, and essentially throwing a TON of money down the drain. It sounds awful, but they will play B.J. to save face if for no other reason. I agree that at this point of the season, he is beyond any hope of really being able to contribute and help the team in a real way. The players we have will do that fine. Now, if someone begins to struggle, to slump, then you have B.J. in the wings, but this is all moot. I will be eternally surprised if when B.J. does return to the show, he is not right back out in CF grinning and loving the fact that despite his performance, he’s still getting paid! I still have some hope for B.J., but I don’t give him the kind of 2nd half the SABR guys do.