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.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.