Upton will man left field and hit cleanup Wednesday in his first start as a Blue Jay, Sportsnet's Barry Davis reports. Upton made his Blue Jays debut Tuesday with a pinch-hit appearance, but he will receive his first start with his news squad Wednesday afternoon in place of Michael Saunders.
Manager John Gibbons indicated Tuesday that Upton (who's not starting Tuesday) will start in right field against lefties, and will occasionally give other outfielders days off, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports. Gibbons mentioned that he's expected to be in the lineup Wednesday, but it sounds as though his playing time will be rather sparse after that. In his When southpaws take the hill, Upton will start the majority of games in right field, while Jose Bautista will shift to designated hitter and Edwin Encarnacion will man first base, and he should see occasional spot starts at the other two outfield spots as well. The veteran could also serve as a late-game pinch runner and defensive substitute, but his at-bats may be limited compared to his time in San Diego this season.
Upton is not in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Padres, Barry Davis of Sportsnet reports. It appears Upton will not make it to Toronto in time to be inserted into the starting lineup, so the Blue Jays will go with their normal alignment of Michael Saunders in left, Kevin Pillar in center and Jose Bautista in right. Upton could see time at all three outfield spots moving forward, but the regular lineup should begin to establish itself over the next few days.
The Blue Jays agreed Tuesday to acquire Upton from the Padres in exchange for a Class A prospect, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The two teams still have to finalize the terms of the trade, but Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Padres will pay a significant portion of the $22 million remaining on Upton's contract. It's expected that the deal will become official later Tuesday, and if that's the case, Upton could suit up immediately for the Blue Jays, as the Padres are already in Toronto for their first visit to the city in franchise history. After looking like one of the worst regular players in the majors over the last three seasons, Upton has rebounded in a big way in 2016, hitting .256 with 16 homers and 20 steals across 373 plate appearances for the Padres. He'll presumably slot into an everyday role with his new team, allowing Jose Bautista to see more time at DH. Upton's departure from the Padres would open up more at-bats in the outfield for Alex Dickerson, who has homered in back-to-back contests.
Upton is out of the lineup Monday against the Blue Jays. He also sat Sunday, so it's worth wondering whether Upton is a little banged up. Upton has also been pretty cold at the plate, notching three hits in his last 27 at-bats; if he is ailing, that would explain his recent struggles. We'll update his status if any word of an injury surfaces. Alex Dickerson will start in left field and hit fifth Monday.