PHOENIX — After B.J. Upton was hit in the left shoulder by a pitch Monday and left the game an inning later, the Braves center fielder was more worried than he let on to reporters in a postgame interview. He had surgery on the shoulder after the 2008 season.
When he had pain taking a swing in the on-deck circle in the seventh inning, he told manager Fredi Gonzalez and was hastily replaced by Jordan Schafer, who didn’t have much time to get ready and struck out.
The shoulder didn’t stiffen overnight as Upton feared, and he said he would probably be available off the bench Tuesday and hoped to be back in the lineup for Wednesday’s series finale against the Diamondbacks.
“Overall, it’s better than I thought it was going to be today,” he said. “Still day-to-day. I’m going to go take some swings and see how it feels.”
Upton said he felt especially bad for putting Schafer in the position he did without advance notice Tuesday.
“This is a shoulder that’s been repaired in the past,” he said. “I’ve kind of been there before. I didn’t like the feel of it when I went to take the practice swing on deck. It was kind of a red flag for me. I didn’t want to (push it) at that point. Kind of early to go out and risk that and not know what’s going to come out of it.”
Dr. James Andrews did the surgery in 2008 to repair a torn labrum in Upton’s non-throwing shoulder.
“It’s something that I’ve always had to maintenance,” he said. “But not that big a deal.”