B.J. Upton unlikely to be ready for Opening Day

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Any initial optimism about B.J. Upton making a speedy recovery following his outfield collision with Desmond Jennings two weeks ago is now gone, as the Rays center fielder admitted today that he’s unlikely to be ready for Opening Day.

Upton has played just once since the collision, logging a handful of innings in a minor-league game, and told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he’s not going to rush back:

If it doesn’t happen, so be it, there’s too much baseball to worry about one series of games. I just rather be healthy all year than try to rush back for a weekend or so.

The main issue from the collision is back tightness, which Upton said “won’t loosen up.” Sam Fuld is also injured and possibly facing shoulder surgery, so the Rays’ outfield will be thin initially.

Braves shutting down Mike Soroka for 4-5 days due to shoulder problems

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Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Braves starter Mike Soroka will be shut down for the next 4-5 days due to renewed soreness in his right shoulder.

Soroka is not presently listed in the top five of the Braves depth chart at starter, but is nonetheless an enormously talented pitcher who, at some point this season, was likely to figure into their plans. He was supposed to figure in more largely than he did last season, but after an impressive debut he missed the entire second half with shoulder problems, making only five starts.

There will no doubt be a reevaluation of him in the next few days, but this is could bad news for the Braves’ pitching depth.