On Sunday it was reported that Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez hadn’t yet decided who will be the designated hitter for his team when they visit the Kansas City Royals for a two-game series beginning Tuesday.
I have the solution: put left fielder Justin Upton in the DH role.
After missing Atlanta’s last two games against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday and Sunday due to a sore right hand, Upton had Monday off as well due to the Braves’ travel day, but I think Gonzalez would be well-served to let Upton DH on Tuesday and Wednesday and then take advantage of another travel day on Thursday.
Such a decision would give Upton a full week between starts in the field and hopefully allow his hand to heal a little more while keeping his ever-dangerous bat in the lineup.
It’s no secret that the 25-year-old hasn’t been the same player he was in April, when he clubbed 12 home runs and was arguably the frontrunner for the National League’s Most Valuable Player award, but he’s capable of getting hot again at any time, and the odds of him returning to his early-season form are much higher if he’s closer to 100 percent.
“I really haven’t thought about it,” Gonzalez told Joe DiGiovanni of MLB.com on Sunday. “I have more problems on my plate than the DH on Tuesday right now.”
Well, if the Braves’ skipper hasn’t already thought about it, I think it’s time to really sit down and ponder what’s best for Upton and the rest of the team.
Plug the slugger in at DH and it could solve two pressing issues at once.