The official Spring Training schedule opens up for the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday afternoon, but when the first pitch is thrown, the Braves will be without one of their big guns due to a late scratch.
Justin Upton scratched from today’s lineup with soreness in his right side. Nothing major. Been bothering him for a day or two. #Braves
— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) February 26, 2014
Kevin McAlpin of the Braves Radio Network indicates that Justin Upton was removed from the lineup due to soreness in his side, and while it is noted that shouldn’t be a serious injury, it’s a bit odd that he was announced in the lineup prior to this. Here was the original lineup from the Braves:
Today’s lineup vs. DET (1:05, 1230AM/1340AM): Heyward 9 BUpton 8 Freeman 3 Gattis 2 JUpton 7 Johnson 5 Uggla 4 ASimmons 6 Doumit DH Garcia 1
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) February 26, 2014
With the scratch of Upton, Fredi Gonzalez has inserted Jordan Schafer into the lineup in the #9 spot with Ryan Doumit moving up to the 5-hole, and while none of this really matters with regard to “real” results, it’s something to monitor. There had been little in the way of indication that Upton was struggling with health-related issues prior to this, so perhaps it is a non-issue altogether.
Still, you never want to see one of the best players on the roster having any sort of concerns in Spring, and it will take an appearance on the field from Justin Upton to alleviate all worry.