Eury Perez is early favorite to replace Melvin Upton in center field


On Friday afternoon, Braves outfielder Melvin Upton was diagnosed sesamoiditis, inflammation in the bone behind the ball of his foot. He’ll be in a walking boot for six weeks and will miss most or all of spring training.’s Mark Bowman suggests that Eury Perez is the early favorite to become the Braves’ Opening Day center fielder with Todd Cunningham as a contender as well. And as David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes, should Perez get the nod, the Braves will open the 2015 season with an entirely new outfield, having traded away Jason Heyward and Justin Upton over the offseason.

Perez, 24, joined the Braves in late January when the club grabbed him off waivers from the Yankees. He has accrued only 23 plate appearances in the major leagues and hit just .174, but has stolen five bases in as many opportunities. Perez doesn’t portend to hit much, but should play solid defense and add value with his speed.