Thursday, April 06, 2006

B.J. Upton, Delmon Young to Remain in Minors

The chance of 21-year-old B.J. Upton being called to Tampa Bay to back up injured shortstop Julio Lugo are nil, as are the hopes of 20-year-old Delmon Young of appearing any time soon. Lugo, suffering from a strained oblique, was awaiting a doctor's exam today to determine whether he would need to serve time on the disable list, which seemed unlikely. But in any event both Upton and Young will remain in the minors at least until June 1 to prevent starting their service-time clock and march toward arbitration eligibility with the Rays. Likely as not Upton and Young will remain in the minors longer to assure they are ready offensively and defensively. Neither Upton nor Young distinguished themselves in about 30 appearances apiece in camp, Upton batting .272 and Young .250, and Upton was a butcher in the field. Young's callup could hinge on the trade of OF/3B Aubrey Huff, whose $6.5 million contract must be dumped in its final year and who is being showcased at third base to enhance Huff's versatility and trade value.