{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Rays expecting Upton for Monday

Rays expecting Upton for Monday

|
BALTIMORE -- B.J. Upton is full-speed ahead and expected to be in the Rays' lineup Monday night for the home opener against the Yankees.

Upton, who is in the final days of his recovery from left shoulder surgery, batted leadoff and played center field for the Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs on Thursday night. He went 0-for-2 -- he had two walks and was hit by a pitch, which grazed his shirt -- and stole two bases. He is scheduled to be the designated hitter on Friday night for the Stone Crabs, then play nine innings in center field Saturday.

"Everything's on schedule -- there's nothing that will indicate he will not be there," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "He stole a couple of bases. He's playing his defense. He's getting his at-bats. By the time he gets here, he'll probably have a regular Spring Training's worth of at-bats and running -- maybe even more. I'll be content he's ready to go."

Maddon is looking forward to Upton's return, speaking glowingly about how much Upton brings to the team.

"Here's a guy who can impact a game offensively on the bases and on defense with his arm," Maddon said. "He can impact a game in so many different ways. We love the other guys we've been utilizing, but B.J. is our center fielder.

"You saw what he did at the end of last year in the playoffs and the World Series. And again, from my perspective, he's not even near as good as he's going to be when he gets a couple of years under his belt."

Maddon believes Upton will be ready to go without any limitations.

"Just see how he feels," Maddon said. "When guys are coming off situations like this, you don't want to push too hard. But he's had adequate time, I think. I'm almost looking at it as a regular-season start for him.

"Everything is well. His shoulder's fine. His legs are in shape. That was a big concern for me; it wasn't the shoulder, it was his legs -- just making sure that that was all good. And I think he's answered that question for us."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español