2013 MLB Postseason: Atlanta Braves Need More From Justin Upton
Justin Upton fouled a ball off of his knee during the Atlanta Braves game with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday and it might actually have come at a decent time. He came out of the game but there is only tenderness there, no damage to speak of. The official term to describe his current status is day to day. Upton says that if he can run, he will play but I think it wouldn’t hurt him to take a day or two off.
Upton has been extremely valuable when he was on this season but his struggling periods have been blankets covering any production. Right now Evan Gattis is providing plenty of pop in the outfield along with decent output by Jordan Schafer. The Braves have a comfortable lead in the N.L. East and a two-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for home field advantage. The cast of characters has done a great job since the Jason Heyward injury but this team is going to need Upton hot come October.
Chances are if you see a series where Upton has one or fewer hits, the Braves might lose that series. He has been mired in a slump that has seen him hit only .167 over his last ten games with zero homers or RBI. That will not cut it when the postseason gets here. I believe one of the biggest issues for Upton is that Heyward isn’t healthy. In a perfect world, both will be healthy and hitting 1 – 2 in the batting order once again come the postseason. That cannot happen if Heyward comes back only for Upton to be banged up. Give him some rest now and then and get him ready for when the Braves really need him.