After losing right fielder Jason Heyward to a hamstring injury yesterday, the Braves had to remove another outfielder tonight against the Reds. Center fielder B.J. Upton had trouble reading a Todd Frazier line drive to center in the first inning. He dove forward to make the grab, but as the ball ricocheted off of his glove, his right knee dug into the Turner Field grass, creating a large divot. After a few minutes, Upton gingerly walked off the field with manager Fredi Gonzalez and a trainer due to a strained right abductor muscle, per David O’Brien. (For those, like me, not brushed up on anatomy terminology: the abductor muscle is located on the hip.)
Joey Terdoslavich came into the game playing left field, Justin Upton moved from left field to right field, and Reed Johnson moved from right field to center field.
Upton was not having a great season, bringing a .177/.266/.300 slash line into tonight’s game, but losing him is still a significant blow to the Braves, who are now dealing with a slew of injuries. They entered the night with a six-game lead over the second-place Nationals and a 7.5-game lead over the Phillies, but the Braves feel anything but comfortable going into the All-Star break.
During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.
We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:
And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:
The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.
Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.
Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.
Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.
Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.