Diamondbacks interim manager Kirk Gibson confirmed to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that Justin Upton was sent for an MRI on his ailing left shoulder this morning.
Upton hasn’t played since tweaking the shoulder during an at-bat in the seventh inning of last Monday’s game against the Padres. Just yesterday, Gibson told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that Upton was “not progressing” and “pretty much on the shelf,” so this course of action isn’t entirely surprising. The Diamondbacks open play Tuesday at 56-82 and in last-place in the National League West, so there’s no need to take a chance with one of the organization’s most promising young stars.
Results of the MRI haven’t been made available as of yet, but there is reason for concern here. Upton was held out of some games last season and the early part of his minor league career due to problems with the same shoulder. It’s worth noting that Cole Gillespie was called up from the minors today, so the Diamondbacks are at least prepared for the possibility that he could be shut down for the rest of the season.
Upton, 23, is batting .275/.359/.447 with 17 homers, 68 RBI, 15 stolen bases and an 806 OPS in 488 at-bats with the Diamondbacks this season.
The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.
Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:
Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.