Monday, March 23, 2009

BJ Upton to miss first week of season?

Tampa Bay Rays CF B.J. Upton, who was recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, was hit by a pitch on his left hand on Saturday. While the X-rays were negative, Upton has a bruised bone and swelling near his pinkie finger.

Upton is expected to miss the first week of the season when the Rays head north to face division rivals Boston and Baltimore.

The Rays will use Gabe Kapler, Gabe Gross, Ben Zobrist and Justin Ruggiano in center and right field depending on whether the opposing pitcher is right- or left-handed.
"I like the fact we are that versatile," [Rays manager Joe] Maddon said. "We're versatile, but we don't make ourselves weaker."
In 2007, Upton hit 24 HRs in the regular season. But he only hit 9 HRs during the regular season in 2008.

With the post-season power surge that Upton had (7 HRs and 16 RBIs in 16 games), I expect him to have a huge season.

Maddon is doing the right thing by not rushing Upton back and jeopardize having him healthy later in the season.

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