Justin Upton missed two weeks with a strained left shoulder, returned to the lineup for two games earlier this week, and is now sidelined again by the same injury.
Upton is out of the Diamondbacks’ lineup this afternoon for the second straight game, but downplayed the seriousness of the injury last night:
It’s really sore. My timing was off the first night, and I was playing catch-up and it was causing me to swing a little harder. It’s just sore.
Interim manager Kirk Gibson indicated that the last-place Diamondbacks may simply decide to shut Upton down for the final three weeks of the season.
After a 2009 breakout that ranked among the best seasons by a 21-year-old hitter in baseball history Upton has taken a step backward this season, with his OPS dropping 100 points. Of course, a 22-year-old batting .274/.356/.442 with 47 extra-base hits, 64 walks, and 16 steals in 131 games is still pretty damn impressive and Upton remains one of the best young players in baseball.
MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that Astros first baseman Jonathan Singleton has been suspended 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. Minor league pitcher Dean Deetz has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for Dehydroclormethyltestosterone.
Singleton, 26, has had issues with marijuana in the past and opened up about his addiction several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself.” He added, “I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”
Singleton hasn’t played in the majors since 2015. Last season, after going all the way back to Double-A Corpus Christi, he hit .205/.376/.397 with 18 home runs and 62 RBI in 500 plate appearances.
Deetz, 24, was selected by the Astros in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. Between Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno last season, the right-hander posted a 4.25 ERA with a 97/50 K/BB ratio in 84 2/3 innings of work. He denies knowingly using a PED, per ESPN’s Keith Law.