User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
BJ, Justin Upton excited to be with Braves

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - B.J. and Justin Upton played on the same baseball team just once growing up, a travel squad in Virginia that also included future big leaguers David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman.

Advertisement
Now the brothers are being given a chance to man the same outfield by the Atlanta Braves.

``I didn't come to Atlanta expecting to be playing with Justin, it just happened,'' B.J. Upton said. ``It is a really special thing.''

Three years older than Justin, B.J. signed with the Braves as a free agent in November after eight seasons with Tampa Bay. Justin arrived a couple of months later, in a seven-player trade with Arizona.

For B.J. it was something he always wanted: a chance to play in the same lineup as his brother. He always thought it was just a matter of time.

Both Uptons are soft spoken, but their bond at the Braves spring training camp has been obvious. They have adjoining lockers in the clubhouse, and both showed up well before position players were required to report.

``I've always been like that,'' B.J. said. ``I just wanted to get here. They don't know me yet and I want to blend in. It's going to be fun.''

B.J. was the No. 2 pick in the 2002 amateur draft, and his brother topped him in 2005 when he went first overall to Arizona.

Justin hit .280 with 17 home runs with 67 RBIs last season for the Diamondbacks. He said he struggled with the constant trade rumors and was happy when the deal finally happened in January.

B.J. had perhaps his best season in 2012 when he hit 28 homers, drove in 78 runs and stole 31 bases for the Rays. But, like his brother, has always played with the label of ``underachiever.''

B.J. said he's looking for big things with his new team.

``I have always given my best and I loved Tampa, but it was time for something new,'' he said. ``Having my brother here just makes it better.''

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has seen Justin with Arizona, but had never gotten a good look at B.J. When the brothers took their first batting practice with the Braves on Tuesday, Gonzalez was pleased.

``I am really seeing them for the first time, and they can hit,'' Gonzalez said. ``They came in here in great shape and ready to play. I have liked everything I have seen from them. It doesn't matter if they are brothers, but they are great players and will help us.''

B.J. and Justin are trying to downplay the fact that they are finally on the same team. They are three years apart in age, so it was usually Justin looking up at his older brother, waiting for the chance to play together.

``We are teammates now, but we just want to start playing baseball,'' Justin said. ``It's all good but it's still about what we can do on the field.''

One thing the brothers aren't doing is living together. B.J. is making the long commute from Tampa to Braves camp at Disney World.

``He's crazy,'' Justin Upton said. ``We'll see how long it lasts.''

BRAVES NOTES: Pitcher Brandon Beachy is expecting to be ready to throw off a mound by next week as part of his rehabilitation from elbow-reconstruction surgery. Beachy is expected back in the Braves' rotation by June after posting a 5-5 record with a 2.00 ERA before surgery in June.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Mejia: Sunday's Diamond Notes
News: WS Matchup Odds
Drew lifts Nationals over Padres, 3-2
Hamels wins 11th; Rangers top Royals
Cruz, Mariners thump Blue Jays, 14-5
Story powers Rockies past Braves, 8-4
Sale scratched after destroying jerseys
Nieuwenhuis, Brewers beat Cubs 6-1
Colabello reinstated from restricted list
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
7-0 +815 L7, 14-3 +1,311 L17 Picks
10-1 L11 G-Plays, 14-6 L20 Picks
7-2 L4 Days, 43-13 GPlays, +4,832
14-4 L18, 35-15 Run, 12-6 G-Plays
15-3 L18 Totals, 13-5 L18 G-Plays
11-3 L14 Totals, +6,260 Picks TY
7-3, +406 L10 Guarantees
19-10, +868 L29 MLB G-Plays
7-3, +385 Record L6 Days
4-2, +229 L6 Guarantees
8-3 +528 L11 Picks, +2,743 TY
18-8 L26 MLB Guarantees
8-3 L11, 15-6 +910 L21 G-Plays
10-5, +516 L15 Selections
6-2, +532 Last 8 Guarantees
11-4 L15 Totals, +3,741 TY
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks- Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals
2016 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 6260
Jim Feist + 4832
Antony Dinero + 3741
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 1273
Jim Feist + 978
Joe Nelson + 947
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 3310
Micah Roberts + 2687
NeiltheGreek + 2291
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jim Feist + 3488
Antony Dinero + 3081
Micah Roberts + 2132
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jim Feist + 3365
Micah Roberts + 2300
James Manos + 2190
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 1911
NeiltheGreek + 1799
Joe Nelson + 1098
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership