UPDATE: Upton took to Twitter Wednesday evening to explain that his ankle is “fine” and that he was pulled as a precaution. He expects to return after a few days of rest.
5:15pm: MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert tweets that Justin Upton has left today’s Dbacks game against the White Sox with a sprained ankle. Hard to say when it happened, as there was no cart-him-off-the-field moment. He singled, stole a base and scored in the second inning, and was subsequently pulled.
No word on how serious it is yet, either but we can assume it’s more serious than an unsprained ankle, right? Simple deduction, my friends. Or is that induction? Hmmm. I’ll be right back. I have to consult my collected works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Updates as they become available, of course, because that’s how we do.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.