Ken Kendrick, managing general partner of the Diamondbacks, decided to go public with his frustrations regarding Stephen Drew and Justin Upton on Tuesday.
Drew, of course, has yet to play this season after breaking and tearing ligaments in his ankle last July. He has recently been participating in extended spring training games.
That’s not enough for Kendrick, who apparently believes Drew should have returned several weeks ago. Doing a radio interview today, he said:
You know, I’m going to be real direct about Stephen. I think Stephen should have been out there playing before now. And, frankly, I for one am disappointed.
I’m going to be real candid and say I think Stephen and his representatives are more focused on where Stephen is going to be a year from now than going out and supporting the team that’s paying his salary.
All you can do is hope that the player is treating the situation with integrity, and, frankly, we have our concerns.
Kendrick also had some remarks for Justin Upton, who has been a disappointment while hitting .243/.340/.365 with five homers and 20 RBI in 181 at-bats this season.
Well, I think Justin is an enigma at this point. I know he had an injury early on, maybe a little bit of a nagging injury. But he’s played. He’s certainly not the Justin Upton that he has been in the past and that we would expect of him. He’s 24 years old, and it’s time for him to be a consistent performer and right now this year he’s not been that.
What Kendrick hopes to gain from his little rants is unclear, but Drew sure is looking like a goner at season’s end. There’s a mutual $10 million option for 2013 on his contract that neither the Diamondbacks nor Drew might have much interest in exercising.
Upton is almost certainly around to stay. Kendrick might want to back off there, considering that Upton was one of the NL’s most valuable players last season. It’s not as though he’s been a long-term disappointment. He’s off to a rough start, but at the same time, he’s not exactly killing the team with his league-average OPS.