Justin Upton found himself sitting on the bench for the second time in four days and more time out of the lineup could be coming according to Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson. This could be Gibson’s way of sending a wake up call to Upton, but as Nick Piecoro reported with the Arizona Republic, Upton is clearly not happy about sitting out again. Upton is batting .143 in his past seven games has struggled most of the season and has clearly not met expectations of fantasy owners. Upton is pressing right now and he is messed up. So, the question is – what is wrong with Upton? Is it still the thumb injury? Is it something else? The bar is high for Upton and many are wondering what is wrong with him. Like Albert Pujols, Upton will figure this out and get back on track soon. If you have Upton in a keeper league, don’t sell him short.
Jonathan Niese struck out 10 over six scoreless innings in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals. He gave up just six hits and one walk in a start that followed Johan Santana’s no-hitter and R.A. Dickey’s shutout. He improved to 4-2 with the win, and he’ll take his 4.11 ERA into his next start against the Yankees in the Bronx. Niese was removed as a precaution after experiencing an elevated heart rate during a game for the second time in the last year.
When Niese is on, he is really on. The key for him, like most pitchers, is his ability to throw strikes consistently. If Niese can find that consistency the Mets may actually have a legitimate rotation with Santana, Dickey, and Gee. But, proceed with caution with Niese because the body of work still tells me that a blow up is right around the corner.