The Atlanta Braves are considering sending outfielder B.J. Upton to the minors to try to work out of his offensive woes.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez told reporters that he has wondered about making the move but has not yet spoken to Upton about it. Upton has enough service time in the majors to refuse an assignment.
Upton, who signed a franchise-high five-year, $75.25 million contract in the offseason, is batting .146 this season, including .130 (11-for-84) with 37 strikeouts since April 27.
Gonzalez said he has talked with Upton about recently keeping him out of the lineup. He is hitless over the past week and did not play for the second straight game Friday.
Rookie catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis has benefitted by getting more playing time while Upton has struggled. Gattis leads all rookies with 12 home runs, 23 extra-base hits and 32 RBI in 137 at-bats.
The streaky Upton batted .242 with 10 home runs in his first 96 games last year and .254 with 18 homers in the next 50.