BJ Upton, who is sidelined with a sore ankle, is not ready to call it a season, saying he wants to return in the final weeks. That’s nice, but what caught our attention was Upton speaking to the press about his shoulder and how it was never 100% this season following off-season surgery and how that explains his poor performance this year.
[Upton] believes his difficulties at the plate are tied directly to his return from [shoulder] surgery, which sidelined him into spring training and kept him on the disabled list for the first week of the season…”It was just kind of, all right, go rehab and if you’re ready to play, you’re ready to play,” Upton said. “I never had time to really work and get the repetitions.”…Even worse, the shoulder remains an issue even now, something in the background that he can’t quite seem to overcome…”It doesn’t hurt by any means, but it’s just not fully there, fully healthy,” he said. “It’s healthy enough to play, definitely. Sometimes it aches, sometimes it just feels tired – it’s never that consistency that I’m looking for.
One of our biggest concerns heading into the season was how Upton would adjust to life after shoulder surgery. Remember, this was not a one-time injury. Upton had injured his shoulder in the same manner (during a swing) each of the past six seasons. This just happened to be the first time the injury required surgery. Upton either needed to change his swing and risk losing his amazing bat speed or keep his swing the same and risk reinjuring the shoulder.
On the surface, it appears as though Upton has not changed his swing. And one has to wonder if that has hindered his recovery from surgery. Either way, this at least provides hope that their is a better Bossman Junior on the horizon for 2010.