Upton likely done through All-Star break
Sore oblique muscle will shelve outfielder for rest of first half
WASHINGTON -- Justin Upton has likely played his last game of the season's first half.
The D-backs right fielder strained his left oblique muscle on his final swing during batting practice on Wednesday night and was scratched from the starting lineup.
"Probably a little better than we anticipated today, but the plan is probably not to play him through these next four games and then reevaluate during the break," Melvin said.
By not playing him in the four games before next week's All-Star break, it leaves the team with the option of making any disabled-list stint retroactive to July 8.
Keeping him active while not playing him, though, will mean the team will have to play short a bench player. Though Melvin declined to comment on it because it would affect someone currently on the roster, the club could always option one of its pitchers to Triple-A this weekend and call up a position player so as not to weaken the bench.
"I think we'll just be status quo right now," Melvin said. "There's some things you could potentially do within the group the last few days, but I just don't want to get into that."
Conor Jackson will continue to start in left with Chad Tracy at first. As for right field, a host of people could see time there, including Alex Romero and Emilio Bonifacio.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.