Atlanta Braves outfielder B.J. Upton has been a colossal bust since signing a five-year, $75 million contract prior to the 2013 season, but he's not about to stop looking for possible solutions to turning his career around.
On Friday, Upton continued his search by experimenting with prescription glasses during batting practice and ended up wearing them for the first time in his career during the game.
The results, according to Upton, were very encouraging.
He went 1-for-4 with an infield hit against the Reds but hit three balls hard and came off the field saying he noticed an immediate difference.
“I could just see the ball a lot more clearly on both sides of the field, offensively and defensively,” Upton said.
Upton said he’s considered wearing glasses before, but “it was something that I thought (about) but I never followed through with.”
In his first season with Atlanta, Upton hit .184/.268/.289 with 151 strikeouts in 446 plate appearances. This season he's only been marginally better overall, hitting .205/.287/.295 with 24 strikeouts in 87 plate appearances, but there have been signs of improvement as he's hit safely in 12 of his last 18 games.
That may not sound like much to get excited about, but it sure beats last season and his 0 for 11 stretch that began this season.
Now he'll look to build on that little bit of good feeling while also perhaps bringing back an old fashion trend in baseball.
— Dustin Hood (@Hoodtastic) April 25, 2014
If that wasn't your first thought, do yourself a favor and watch Major League for the first time. The unedited edition, if possible.
On a more serious note, Upton says the glasses he wore Friday will only be temporary. He ordered another pair that should help his peripheral vision a little more, so it appears this is an experiment he plans to continue for awhile.
“It’s just the first day,” Upton said. “We’ll see how it goes, but I was definitely seeing the ball a little better.”
Of course, if it ends up working to his benefit, people will start asking why he didn't try it sooner. But just as long as it provides better vision, more confidence and better results for the older Upton brother, we're sure those questions won't be coming from the Braves.
As for the older Upton. Well, he just keeps rolling. His three-run first inning homer on Friday helped Atlanta to a solid 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
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