Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Justin Upton Update

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Mar 2, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA;Detroit Tigers right fielder Justin Upton (8) points in the dugout against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA;Detroit Tigers right fielder Justin Upton (8) points in the dugout against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Detroit Tigers played it safe with Justin Upton on Wednesday, removing the outfielder from a Spring Training game as a precaution after his left ankle was stepped on.

The Detroit Tigers are playing it safe when it comes to player health this Spring Training. The team has exercised caution when dealing with minor injuries to Alex Wilson (shoulder) and Anibal Sanchez (triceps).

Now it seems the Tigers are taking the same route with outfielder Justin Upton.

How It Happened

Upton recently exited the team’s Spring Training game against the Washington Nationals after almost colliding with fellow outfielder Anthony Gose. MLB.com’s Jason Beck tweeted about the instance, writing that there was a “Near-collision in LCF with Justin Upton and Anthony Gose. Gose makes catch on fly ball, but Upton is still down.”

Beck provided more details in a later tweet, noting, “Upton heading out of this game. Didn’t look like collided; Gose didn’t break stride. But Upton walking slowly back to clubhouse.”

There is obvious worry where Upton’s health is concerned—or rather, it would be disastrous if the outfielder suffered an injury so early in his tenure with the Detroit Tigers. Upton made headlines in the offseason when he signed a massive, six-year, $132.75 million contract with Detroit.

The outfielder had scored a run in the game against the Nationals, coming home on a single by Victor Martinez. Entering the game, Upton only had a single hit in four games. However, it is still early March. He’ll turn things around.

Precautionary Reasons

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From what information the Tigers released during the game, it seems that Upton will have the opportunity to turn things around before the regular season starts. Detroit’s official Twitter account sent out a tweet, disclosing that “#Tigers outfielder @JUST_JUP was stepped on on his left ankle and was taken out for precautionary reasons.”

The fact that the team didn’t report a serious injury, or any injury at all, is extremely encouraging. Hopefully, Upton will be able to get back into games before too long.

Detroit is hoping for big things out of Upton in his first season in Motown. The Tigers are aiming to return to the postseason, and the 28-year-old should be a big part of it. The three-time All Star will likely hit second in the Tigers batting order behind Ian Kinsler and ahead of Miguel Cabrera.

Next: Stats Showing Why the Bullpen Will Be Better

Upton posted the second-highest WAR (4.4) of his career in 2015, not to mention 26 home runs and 81 RBI hitting in a paltry San Diego offense. He should vastly improve on those numbers as the latest slugger in a Detroit offense that could be baseball’s best.

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