After losing right fielder Jason Heyward to a hamstring injury yesterday, the Braves had to remove another outfielder tonight against the Reds. Center fielder B.J. Upton had trouble reading a Todd Frazier line drive to center in the first inning. He dove forward to make the grab, but as the ball ricocheted off of his glove, his right knee dug into the Turner Field grass, creating a large divot. After a few minutes, Upton gingerly walked off the field with manager Fredi Gonzalez and a trainer due to a strained right abductor muscle, per David O’Brien. (For those, like me, not brushed up on anatomy terminology: the abductor muscle is located on the hip.)
Joey Terdoslavich came into the game playing left field, Justin Upton moved from left field to right field, and Reed Johnson moved from right field to center field.
Upton was not having a great season, bringing a .177/.266/.300 slash line into tonight’s game, but losing him is still a significant blow to the Braves, who are now dealing with a slew of injuries. They entered the night with a six-game lead over the second-place Nationals and a 7.5-game lead over the Phillies, but the Braves feel anything but comfortable going into the All-Star break.
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.
“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.
He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.
“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”
Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.
“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.
“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”
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