The Los Angeles Angels surprisingly released outfielder Justin Upton near the end of spring training.
He had been with the team since 2017, but couldn’t quite show he was still an above-average contributor.
He joined a fellow AL West squad with the hope that he can stick around for the long-term: the Seattle Mariners.
After a few games in Triple-A Tacoma, the Mariners are calling him up, and he is expected to make his 2022 debut later tonight.
“Justin Upton, released by the #Angels at the end of spring training, joins the #Mariners tonight,” USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted on Friday.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 17, 2022
Upton’s performance in Tacoma wasn’t anything to write home about: he posted a .666 OPS in 12 games there.
He also struck out a lot, at 33.9 percent.
The Mariners Should Temper Expectations
The Mariners probably shouldn’t expect any miracles from the former star, who is now 34 years old.
However, he has been productive in the past and is expected to be a contributor against left-handers, at least until he can prove he deserves more playing time.
For his career, Upton has a solid .262/.343/.471 line, with 324 home runs, 1056 runs, 1,000 RBI, and 151 stolen bases.
Those are some sneaky good totals and underrated rate stats.
In his prime, Upton was capable of hitting between 30 and 35 round-trippers with more than 100 RBI.
That’s not the hitter he is today.
Hopefully Upton can show he still has something left in the tank.
It doesn’t hurt the Mariners to give him a few games to see how he can respond.