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 Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.