Jun 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton (8) reacts after an at bat against the New York Mets in the ninth inning at Turner Field. The Mets defeated the Braves 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Upton’s Sore Right Hand


According to Joe DiGiovanni of MLB.com, Justin Upton has a sore right hand:

Justin Upton was held out of the starting lineup for a second consecutive day Sunday due to what Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez called a sore right hand.

Gonzalez had said before Saturday’s game that Upton was being given a breather, but he acknowledged on Sunday that Upton’s hand has been bothering him for a couple of days.

“It’s just his right hand, just a little sore,” Gonzalez said.

Our own Bryan Rose, of Fansided.com had some thoughts on the injury:

The last thing the Atlanta Braves want to hear are Justin Upton and the disabled list, so the team has decided to give the powerful outfielder a few days off in hopes his ailing hand will heal.

Neither Upton nor the Braves are exactly sure how Upton suffered the injury, but it’s clearly nagging him as today marks his second consecutive day off.

My opinions on this issue might be the exact opposite of most of yours but that’s a wonderful reason to write them down for you.

I honestly, don’t think Justin Upton going to the DL would be the worst thing for the Braves, or even hamper them too much. This statement comes with the caveat that a 15-day DL is all that we are talking about.

There are several reasons why I don’t think that Upton missing some time will hurt the team:

  1. Justin and the Braves offense have been pretty bad of late.
  2. Evan Gattis and Jordan Schafer have played extremely well and could use some extra AB’s anyways.

To touch on the first point briefly, Justin Upton has put up a rough slash line of .205/.314/.260 in the month of June. He hasn’t really done much since his first month of excellence and lately I have noticed that his swing looks a bit longer than normal. As long as this hand injury doesn’t turn into something serious the time off could be good for him. He can get out of the everyday grind for a bit, put some extra work in the cage and come back good as new–that’s what we all can hope.

The second bit of my reasoning is much more important for the short term. Obviously we don’t want a platoon of Jordan Schafer and Evan Gattis in the outfield for a long period of time but they are more than capable of filling in for a 15-day DL period of time (if that’s what it comes to) or something similar.

Schafer was hitting .291/.391/.418 before the start of today’s game and Evan Gattis has put up a line of .252/.317/.577. Both Schafer and Gattis have cooled off a bit of late but that could be because they have seen a dip in playing time. I’m sure either of them could do well in larger role for a bit until Justin is fully healthy and ready to go.

This is what a good bench is supposed to be for. You can be confident in your backups to come in and get a solid amount of time and not create a liability with the team. You also have less pressure to get your starter back in the lineup before he is ready.

What are your thoughts on the injury? Should we be worried or feel good about our back up options?

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