After Freddie Freeman hurt his thumb Saturday, B.J. Upton knew there was a chance that one of the Braves’ injured outfielders would be placed on the disabled list, and that he was probably the most likely one of the three.
When he saw Evan Gattis in the clubhouse Sunday morning, Upton knew a move was imminent.
“Something gonna happen,” he said. “White Bear’s back.”
That’s the English translation of El Oso Blanco, the nickname of Gattis, who was summoned from Triple-A Gwinnett after the Freeman injury.
Soon after Upton spoke with reporters, the Braves announced he’d been placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right adductor muscle, near the groin. The center fielder was hurt Friday when his knee planted in the turf as he tried to make a sliding catch.
Left fielder Justin Upton left the same game after his calf tightened while running out a groundball, which the Braves believe was only a severe cramp and not a pulled muscle. Right fielder Jason Heyward strained a hamstring in Thursday’s game.
Gonzalez said if he had to use one of them, Justin Upton would’ve been first on the list Sunday, ahead of Heyward.
“I think out of the three, I’ll probably be (out) the longest,” B.J. Upton said Sunday, before it was announced he was on the DL. “If they have to, they have to. It’s a move they have to make. I’m prepared for it. It’s not a big deal. Got the All-Star break coming up. That’ll just give me a little bit more time to get healthy.”
B.J. Upton’s .177 batting average is the worst among major league qualifiers, and his .565 on-base-plus-slugging percentage was the second-lowest in the majors before Sunday. In 207 at-bats, he has eight homers and 102 strikeouts with 33 walks.
After making progress for most of June — .250 with six doubles, four homers and a .362 OBP in 25 games through June 28 – Upton was 6-for-38 with no extra-base hits, three walks and 17 strikeouts in his last 13 games.
Rotation change: The Braves will switch the rotation turns of Julio Teheran and Kris Medlen coming out of the All-Star break, with Medlen moving to the fifth spot and Teheran to fourth. The Braves play to start Tim Hudson in Friday’s road-series opener against the White Sox, followed by Paul Maholm, Mike Minor, and then Teheran and Medlen in the first two games of the four-game road series against the Mets.
The Braves haven’t been able to acquire the ace they might have wanted for the top of their rotation, but they secured the depth they needed Monday with the signing of free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd.
One week after the Braves were eliminated by the Dodgers in a four-game division series, Braves general manager Frank Wren met with the team’s beat writers and discussed the 2013 season and the team’s needs going into the offseason.