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Fredi Gonzalez Wants B.J. Upton Back in Lineup Soon

June 1st, 2013 at 11:30 AM
By Cody Fields

B.J. Upton has been out of the Atlanta Braves starting lineup for five out of the last seven games while he battles a horrific season-long slump, but Fredi Gonzalez wants to get him in the lineup.

"I'm a believer that to get out of the funk, you have to play," Gonzalez said on braves.com. "There's not a magic number or anything like that. The thing you feel good about is, the guy works hard. I think if you spend too much time not playing, when you put him in there, it might be even worse, because all of a sudden, he hasn't seen live pitching."

Upton's .146 average and .478 OPS are dead last among Major League qualifiers, even though he's apparently been toiling relentlessly to fix his swing.

"He understands to a certain point," Gonzalez said. "Good players want to play. We've had conversations. He's making the adjustments."

The Braves already knew Bossman Junior was streaky, but no one saw this coming when Frank Wren signed him to a franchise-record five-year, $75 million contract. Things have been so bad, in fact, that Gonzalez has considered asking Upton to take a minor league assignment to work out his flaws in a more relaxed environment.

Upton, though not as atrocious, put up a .242 average with 10 homers through his first 96 games last season before waking up to the tune of a .254 average and 18 home runs in his next 50 games.

 

photo credit: Keith Allison via photopin cc

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, B.J. Upton, Baseball, Fredi Gonzalez, MLB

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