B.J. Upton was out of the Braves lineup Saturday night for the third straight game in which the Braves were facing a right-hander, in favor of the left-handed hitting Jordan Schafer. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Upton will be back in Sunday against Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez, giving the impression that he’s platooning his .188-hitting center fielder.
But Gonzalez said before Saturday’s game he’s not looking at this necessarily as a platoon.
“I wouldn’t call it a platoon,” said Gonzalez, who said he had a conversation with Upton about it during last weekend’s Marlins series. “I’m calling it just a matchup situation….I’m just trying to get a matchup for both of them and see what Schafer can do a little bit. I think B.J. is going to help us come here in the next five or six weeks, try to get him a good matchup and get him going. I think he’s going to be a big part of this run.”
For his part, B.J. Upton is not complaining. He said all the right things when asked about his limited playing time on Saturday afternoon.
“I’m just rolling with it,” Upton said. “If I’m in the lineup, I’m in there. If I’m not, then I’m not. I don’t really have an argument. What’s my argument? I don’t. So he’s going to play who he wants to play and that’s fine with me. Like I said, as long as we win, I’ll support my teammates regardless. We all have the same goal, that’s to get a championship, get a ring. Wherever I can pitch in to help, I’ll do it.”
Upton has struggled for much of the year, and he’s hitting a majors’ worst .093 (7-for-75) with runners in scoring position. But if he had a time where he might raise a complaint, he could make a case that he’s trying to build on the work he started on the Braves recent road trip – when Upton hit .476 (10-for-21) including a four-hit game in five games in Philadelphia and Washington. But he won’t.
“We’re going way too well for me to be worried about what I’m doing,” Upton said. “This is bigger than me. This is about the team. Obviously I want to be on the field every day but that’s not the case right now. We’ll just see as it goes on.…I will continue to support my team and that’s it.”