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.
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.