After a night off, Atlanta Braves center fielder B.J. Upton will be back in the lineup Thursday night for the rubber game against the New York Mets. But the big news came when a Braves legend went to Turner Field to help Upton work on his slumping swing.
Chipper Jones was in the house.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) April 10, 2014
Chipper and Walk talking hitting with BJ pic.twitter.com/BVdaclMEdH
— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) April 10, 2014
There’s no telling if this is the first time Upton has been coached by Jones, but it can’t possibly make matters worse for the struggling hitter to get another set of eyes on his swing – especially when it’s a future Hall of Famer. After a decent showing at Spring Training, Upton has started the regular season just like he hit in 2013.
In his first seven games of the year, Upton has been to the plate 29 times and has only reached base in four at-bats. He has struck out 13 times in that stretch.
Let’s compare that to his first seven games of 2013. A year ago, Upton had 25 at-bats in his first seven games, and got three hits in those 25 trips to the plate. He struck out 10 times in that span and walked three times.
So he actually reached base more often in the opening games of last season than he did to start 2014.
(Also read: Could this house really be worth $48 million?)
Manager Fredi Gonzalez will leave Upton in the No. 2 spot of the batting order for Thursday night’s game, but you have to figure that will be short-lived if Upton’s struggles continue.
Help us, Chipper – you’re our only hope. And if you can somehow turn around Upton’s problems, you’ll be hired somewhere as a hitting coach before you even get inducted into Cooperstown.