B.J. Upton exits game with strained abductor muscle

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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.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.