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.
Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong was pulled from Saturday’s game against the Brewers after sustaining a right elbow contusion, according to a team announcement. The full extent of the injury has not been revealed, nor is it clear when Wong might return to the lineup, though he’s presumed to be day-to-day for the time being.
Wong suffered the injury in the third inning. He reached base on a line drive single to right field, his first of the evening, and was accidentally struck on the elbow when Wade Miley made an errant throw to Jesus Aguilar on a pickoff attempt. The 27-year-old second baseman has already seen his season shortened by injuries after sustaining a right thigh contusion and, more recently, dealing with a bout of chronic inflammation in his left knee. He entered Saturday’s contest batting .238/.323/.388 on the year with eight home runs, and a .711 OPS through 330 PA.
Following the incident, Wong was replaced on the field by Greg Garcia at the top of the fourth inning. The Cardinals currently lead the Brewers 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth.