Justin Upton, who is the Angels starting Left Fielder has struggled as of late and it seems like many people in the Angels’ fan base have become unhappy with Upton.
Justin Upton missed about the first 2 and a half months of the season due to a Turf Toe injury after he slammed his foot into the concrete just below the padding under the Left Field wall while trying to field a ball.
Justin Upton made an impact in his 1st game of the season versus the Toronto Blue Jays on June 17th, by hitting the first pitch he saw in the game out of the ballpark for a Home Run. He has had his moments since then, but through his first 29 games, Upton is slashing .224/.303/.402 with 4 doubles, 5 Home Runs with 12 RBI in 107 At-Bats. Many players say in Spring Training that it takes them about 100 At-Bats to get ready for the season. Upton, only played in a handful of rehab games so he has had a little more than 120 At-Bats including those rehab games. Upton also didn’t play in many games in Spring Training as he was dealing with a hamstring issue so he did not get many AB’s there.
Justin Upton is not the only player the Angels have that started the season on the Injured List this season and get off to a slow start. The other player that started off slow was Designated Hitter Shohei Ohtani.
Shohei Ohtani struggled a bit once he came back and through 26 games slashed .240/.319/.385 with 5 Home Runs with 20 RBI in 104 At-Bats. Ohtani and Upton have roughly the same numbers, but Upton has 4 Doubles while Ohtani has none. Ohtani since those numbers has slashed .315/.373/.611 through 44 games with 10 Doubles, 2 Triples, 10 Home Runs with 22 RBI in 149 AB’s.
Justin Upton is such a great hitter, he will start to get into the groove of things as he has had bad-streaks and hot-streaks before in his career. He’s too good of a hitter and his career numbers show that as does Upton’s career averages as it includes a .267/.347/.477 slash-line with 32 Doubles, 4 Triples, 28 Home Runs and 89 RBI.
Angels manager Brad Ausmus has an idea of how to manage Justin Upton as he managed him in Detroit from 2016-2017 with the Tigers. Ausmus said he talked with Upton after the game on Monday, July 29th, in which Upton struck out with the bases loaded with 1 out in a 1-run game. Ausmus said, “Having gone through it, I think he understands that taking a step back, and working on the mechanics of the hitting or his approach as a hitter in the box, doing that and not having to deal with the in-game at-bats right away can sometimes speed the process.”
Brad Ausmus gave Justin Upton the night off on July 30th and started Brain Goodwin in his place. Upton might need a little more time to figure out how to fix his issues, but when he figures it out he can carry a team as he as done numerous times throughout his career.
Featured Image: AP Photo/Alex Gallardo