B.J. Upton had to leave Tuesday’s game against the Marlins with muscle spasms in his left forearm.
Upton felt his arm start to spasm and his fingers “lock up” around the bat during a second inning at-bat. He left after striking out and was replaced by Reed Johnson in center field. Upton is considered day-to-day.
As strange as it was, Upton said he’s had a similar problem before and thinks he’ll be OK to play on Wednesday.
“It’s just one of those weird things,” Upton said. “…I never just really had my hand lock up like that before, though. That was a new one for me.”
Upton said he felt fine after the game. It didn’t bother him during early work or batting practice, just in that first at-bat.
“Some of the drills I do in the cage, maybe overuse, so to speak,” Upton said. “I could get it to calm down, but as soon as I went to grip the bat again, it’s almost like my hand would lock up around the handle of the bat.”
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and assistant trainer Jim Lovell could see his fingers locking up in the dugout and decided not to risk sending him back out.
“If it’s a cramp it’s a cramp,” Gonzalez said. “If it’s something more significant, we don’t want to make it worse. Right now hopefully it’s just a cramp.”
The Braves are already playing with backup outfielder Jordan Schafer at less than full strength because of a sore right ankle.
Schafer returned Tuesday night in a pinch hit at-bat - his first action since fouling a ball off his right ankle last Wednesday in Kansas City. He is still hobbled and showed it running up the line to beat out an infield single. But Schafer said afterward he didn’t reinjure his ankle any further.
“It’s the same,” Schafer said. “It’s just not good yet.”