Jul 31, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder B.J. Upton (2) reacts to a called 3rd strike in the 6th inning against Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

B.J. Upton out of lineup against Mariners, Emilio Bonifacio to lead off and play center

The Atlanta Braves tweeted out tonight’s starting lineup for game one of a two-game set with the Seattle Mariners, and it looks like B.J. Upton is already experiencing the Emilio Bonifacio effect:

In the three games he’s played so far in August, Upton hasn’t managed a hit in in 16 plate appearences and he’s struck out four times and walked twice. If we go back and look at his performance for the past 30 days (95 at bats) Upton is hitting just .200/.283/.253 with 10 walks to 35 strikeouts. He’s stolen four bases, but he’s also been caught stealing four times.

In steps Bonifacio, who’s hitting .279/.322/.371 on the season and has played in 48 games as a centerfielder. We don’t know yet if this is just a day off for Upton to help him clear his head or if Bonifacio is going to be sharing time with the elder Upton for the remainder of the season.

When the Braves traded for Bonifacio, it was assumed that most of his time playing time would come from the outfield, and with Jason Heyward and Justin Upton both producing well of late, the obvious position is centerfield. This move could mark the end of Upton being the every day centerfielder, and with the way the Braves have been playing and how B.J.’s been hitting, it’s probably the right decision.

What are your thoughts on the choice to start Bonifacio and lead him off? Should the Braves keep doing this or should they just give Upton a few days off to try and figure it all out?

Tags: Atlanta Braves B.J. Upton

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