B.J. Upton Will Start Against Phillies Today

B.J. Upton has been in a season long slump

B.J. Upton has been in a season long slump

Atlanta Braves outfielder B.J. Upton was activated off the disabled list and will start today against the Phillies.  Upton will play center field and bat seventh.

Upton went on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring injury suffered while trying to make a running catch.

Catcher Gerald Laird has been placed on the disabled list with a kidney stone problem to make room for B.J. Upton.

In his rehab stint Upton played three games at Triple-A Gwinnett and banged out four hits in twelve at bats.  He stroked three doubles and registered two RBI.

On the season, Upton has hit .177 with 8 homers and only 20 RBI in 277 at bats.  He is near the bottom of the National League in nearly every statistical category.  His .103 average with runners in scoring position is the worst in the major leagues

With their 11 1/2 game lead in the NL East, the Braves are in a position where they can try to get Upton going.  However, with the chance to finish with the best record in the National League and home field advantage through the NLCS, it is doubtful that their patience with elder Upton will be limitless.

About Jim Hart

Jim has covered the Atlanta Braves since 2008 for local and national broadcast news organizations. He also appears regularly talking Braves baseball on WCCP-FM in Clemson, South Carolina, and the ESPN Radio affiliate, 1420 Sports in St. Augustine, Florida.

Comments

  1. BravesBeliever says:

    We can only hope that your latter prediction regarding the short leash on BJ is true. There is only so much Wrenn and Co. should do to save face on what appears at this point to be a $75M boondoggle. Sometimes one has to admit to their miscalculation, whether foreseen or not, suck it up and make the wisest decision for the future. I do not blame Braves ownership for their estimation of BJ’s worth at the time. Many said it was about right; but, there comes a time when one must do whatever is necessary, no matter how painful to the ego, to achieve the achievable goal that is most advantageous for the team. At this point it is not only winning but holding on to the very real goal of home field advantage which is the Braves’ best hope for a ticket to the big dance, unlike last year when that hope was dashed due to a single game opportunity. This team’s composition and history thus far this season makes achievement of home field advantage even more imperative as their record for winning series’ rather than single games is clear- even against sub-500 teams. When a team is rolling as the Bravos are at this point, it is foolish to change the formula that precipitated that rare and invaluable momentum. We can only hope- and God knows we all do- that the addition of BJ brings about added fuel to the fire rather than dousing it and, more importantly, let’s hope that if he does not, Braves leadership will recognize this paradigm and, if necessary- and I truly hope it is not- tell BJ it isn’t his year and prepare him for a great 2014! Based on history alone, however, As a realist, it is my estimation that an added “Puig-like” (although I’m loathe to invoke that name) spark is much more likely to come with the reunion of Schafer to the team rather than BJ. Personally, However, as a BravesBeliever, I sincerely hope that both return quickly and both contribute to a massive ignition of energy, enthusiasm and talent, the likes of which we have not seen in Braves Country in decades, if ever! Go BJ…go Schafer…but, most hopefully, GO BRAVES! Let’s get some rings and raise the World Series banner over Turner Field once more!!!

  2. BravesBeliever says:

    We can only hope that your latter prediction regarding the short leash on BJ is true. There is only so much Wrenn and Co. should do to save face on what appears at this point to be a $75M boondoggle. Sometimes one has to admit to their miscalculation, whether foreseen or not, suck it up and make the wisest decision for the future. I do not blame Braves ownership for their estimation of BJ’s worth at the time. Many said it was about right; but, there comes a time when one must do whatever is necessary, no matter how painful to the ego, to achieve the achievable goal that is most advantageous for the team. At this point it is not only winning but holding on to the very real goal of home field advantage which is the Braves’ best hope for a ticket to the big dance, unlike last year when that hope was dashed due to a single game opportunity. This team’s composition and history thus far this season makes achievement of home field advantage even more imperative as their record for winning series’ rather than single games is clear- even against sub-500 teams. When a team is rolling as the Bravos are at this point, it is foolish to change the formula that precipitated that rare and invaluable momentum. We can only hope- and God knows we all do- that the addition of BJ brings about added fuel to the fire rather than dousing it and, more importantly, let’s hope that if he does not, Braves leadership will recognize this paradigm and, if necessary- and I truly hope it is not- tell BJ it isn’t his year and prepare him for a great 2014! Based on history alone, however, As a realist, it is my estimation that an added “Puig-like” (although I’m loathe to invoke that name) spark is much more likely to come with the reunion of Schafer to the team rather than BJ. Personally, However, as a BravesBeliever, I sincerely hope that both return quickly and both contribute to a massive ignition of energy, enthusiasm and talent, the likes of which we have not seen in Braves Country in decades, if ever! Go BJ…go Schafer…but, most hopefully, GO BRAVES! Let’s get some rings and raise the World Series banner over Turner Field once more!!!

    • Fortunately it appears that Braves fans won’t have to sweat making the playoffs no matter who is playing center field. That is all but a given since the Braves esteemed foes in the NL East decided to tank early this season.

      • BravesBeliever says:

        Agreed, Jim, no doubt and that’s sweeeeet, indeed; however, doesn’t the games won record play into the home field advantage in the post season play? Not a rhetorical question. I don’t know all the nuances of that issue.

        • Yes it does, BB, and it certainly behooves the Braves to finish with the best record in the NL and get home field advantage through the NLCS.

  3. Bob Long says:

    Heyward and BMac are sitting this one out, today. Plus, with Beachy on the hill, the line-up took a hit with Joey T and BJ playing. Also, Simmons shouldn’t be leading off.
    This smells like the end of the winning streak.

  4. Damn!

  5. I am a paying fan of the Braves and I am very upset about what happened today. It was crazy not to keep the thing going that we had with Heyward leading off and McCann catching and Gattis in left field. Do we all of a sudden have to screw things up just to accommodate B J and his contract. I want to win and I don’t care to try and justify a mistake and ruin our good run. And on top of that they bat Uggla and B J back to back. That’s an automatic 2 outs almost every time and for sure if we have runners on base. And please get rid of Uggla and get a 2nd baseman that can at least not strikeout almost every at-bat. If you have to play B J just pinch hit with him in the late innings after we already have a good lead. Please do what is best for the team and for us fans that pay to come and watch games and spend money at the ballpark.

  6. rogerheld says:

    I wish I could say all the nasty things about BJ everyone else is saying but I do believe in his talent. I have believed all season that Heyward is a natural 3 hitter. However, the results with him at the top of the lineup are stunning. This recent lineup has many advantages and needs to stay the same. Not only with Heyward at the top but with Freeman and McCann flanking Gattis and with Chris Johnson hitting behind Uggla. This lineup was the natural cause for Heyward, McCann, Uggla, AND JUpt getting hot at the same time. I understand the change for last night with a lefty on the mound and probably tonight against C. Lee. I just don’t think there’s a good reason not to relegate BJ to a bench role this year and get him going for real next year. This not uncommon for guys making their first team change due to trade or free agency. For next year, maturity of Simmons and Wood, dumping Uggla (hopefully for La Strella), return of Hudson, and continuing recovery of Beachy will make this team truly the best in the league by far. And if BJ recovers his true form (20HR/40SB), watch out.

    • If the Braves were behind in the NL East or were in a close race, I think you would see different line-ups on the field than you are seeing. With Washington and Philadelphia not showing a pulse for most of the season, the Bravos have had a free ride to play who they want, when they want. I think they will finish with the best record in the NL, even if they play Miley Cyrus in center. (If she could pass a drug test).

  7. rogerheld says:

    Besides, remember what Crash Davis said. “You don’t mess with a winning streak. They don’t come around that often and you have to do everything you can – no matter how stupid it sounds – to keep it going.”

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