B.J. Upton isn’t happy with being dropped in the Rays’ batting order:
B.J. Upton’s frustration with his poor season has been made worse by the sting of being dropped to the No. 9 spot in the Rays lineup. “It’s almost like a kick in the face,” Upton said.
Upton said he was “definitely” hurt by the further demotion
after being taken out of the leadoff slot last week, dropped initially
to seventh, then eighth and now ninth . . .
. . . “To go from being a leadoff guy and last year hitting (No.) 2, 3, maybe
4 … it’s just like I’m back where I started (as a 19-year-old rookie).
I was in the 9-hole, the 8-hole and kind of worked my way up,” Upton
said. “I know I’m not a 9-hitter. I know I’m not a bottom-of-the-order
type of guy.”
Hey B.J.: your .239/.314/.363 season suggest otherwise.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.