Kendrick Expects More Consistency From Upton

Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick said in a radio interview on XTRA 910 AM that he expects more consistency from Justin Upton (full quotes via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic).

“He’s certainly not the Justin Upton that he has been in the past and that we would expect of him,” Kendrick said. “He’s 24 years old and it’s time for him to be a consistent performer and right now this year he’s not been that.”

Upton, who's now in the third year of a six-year, $50MM contract, has a .243/.340/.365 batting line in 212 plate appearances this year. He told reporters, including Piecoro, that Kendrick is entitled to his view.

“He’s the one who makes the decisions around here,” Upton said. “Whatever decision he decides to make or whatever he thinks about me, it’s ultimately his decision.”

In the same interview Kendrick voiced concern that Stephen Drew and his representatives at the Boras Corporation are “more focused on where Stephen's going to be a year from now than going out and supporting the team that's paying his salary.” Scott Boras responded, pointing out that it’d be best for both Drew and the Diamondbacks if the shortstop plays.

The 26-30 Diamondbacks trail the Dodgers and Giants in the NL West following a breakout 2011 season that saw them take the division with 94 wins. Piecoro explained the dynamic between Upton, Kendrick and manager Kirk Gibson in a recent blog entry.

24 Responses to Kendrick Expects More Consistency From Upton Leave a Reply

  1. What’s a “managing partner”? Is that code for “heavy handed owner”?

    • chico65 3 years ago

      Well, he’s certainly managing to tick off his players

    • jb226 3 years ago

      “Partners” = Anybody in the venture to buy the team.
      “Managing partner” = The guy they appoint to be in charge of the team.

      It’s basically the owner, except in reality he’d be a part owner and not necessarily even a majority owner.

      It’s funny.  This guy is pretty highly regarded in the game and now he’s taken shots at his two biggest stars.  I think everybody understands the disappointment, but sometimes biting your tongue is the right move.

  2. Beersy 3 years ago

    Man, I would love to play for this guy.  He sounds like MLB’s version of Jerry Jones.  Owners should sit in their luxury boxes and sign the cheques.  Nothing good has ever happened when a loud mouth opner has opened their mouth.  I guess there will be one more SS option on the free agent market this off season.

  3. M_Harden 3 years ago

    Ken Kendrick needs to shut his mouth and stop dwelling in the players’ business because he clearly has no clue what he’s talking about. That’s not his job and he simply needs to let the baseball operations people handle situations like this. What could he possibly gain from saying things like this?

  4. Leonard Washington 3 years ago

    We are not behind the scenes like this guy is so we can’t exactly say whether or not Drews rehab warrants those remarks. Maybe he is milking it badly and everybody in the clubhouse knows it. People thought Ells milked it the year before last, and some players came out and said as much. Who cares. All the more motivation to prove them all wrong. With Uptons situation its a lot different. On one hand the guy didn’t bash him he just acknowledged what Upton already knows; That he is under preforming. So as a player can you really get mad. Hey so and so is batting .242 and was supposed to be a phenom, is that what you expect??? No. Of course they expect more, everybody expects the kid to be great. If he takes it the wrong way hes immature. A spades a spades. When your expected to be great and are less than great people are going to question you. Whats the owner supposed to say?? Oh well we love his production right now he is really killing it.

  5. melonis_rex 3 years ago

    Watch Upton be on the trading block this summer, if the DBacks fall out of it. 

    Not that selling low on Upton is in any way a rational move. 

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

       Have to admit haven’t watched Justin Upton an awful lot this season, nor the Dbacks…. handful of times jumping from NL game to game is it..

      I have watched BJ over the seasons and how he can get lackadaisical when he feels like it however.. Not feel like running out ground ball.. Running to get a ball hit over his head etc.. Wonder if they both will act a bit the same at times now that brother Justin has that comfort zone contract and if BJ will revert into his even worse self from a couple years back if anyone gives him one.. Scary thought..

      • BradyAnderson 3 years ago

        I used to play with Justin…he cares. He wants to be the best and has the ability to do so. Its a slump, plenty are going through them, most owners realise it for what it is…this one chooses to call him out. Whatever you know, at least Justin handled it right, dude has his opinion. He strokes the checks.

        But no, i dont think comparing BJ’s and Justin’s mental makeup or effort is fair. Justin may develop a tendency for flashiness, but i feel he will never get lazy like BJ.

        my two cents.

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

      would still happily give up the farm for him

      • MaineSox 3 years ago

        I knew your comment would be here before I even scrolled down to see it.

        Add: Wouldn’t mind making it a package deal for Drew too.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

           So.. Wipe out the farm to get Upton and then move Ells?

          I could see getting Upton.. If no Barnes is involved and even giving up many of the other top guys.. Just no Barnes.. Period..

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            Sure, or you could keep Ellsbury and have possibly the best outfield in the game.  I’m not sure who they would want in an Upton trade, but it could very easily leave them devoid of replacements for Ellsbury, making it pretty much a necessity to keep him around.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             Was thinking of moving Ells to get prospects back. LOL

            They can find a CF, maybe even Kalish S/T if he wouldn’t be included.

            Here we go.. I never make trade proposals, generally because we never know anyway what GM’s want and it’s always speculation on us.. The fan’s part.. But will throw one out here for just Upton..


            It could go even higher…

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            I don’t think that trade works for Arizona.  Ranaudo’s value is way down right now, and with all their pitching I don’t think a pitcher would necessarily have to be part of it, so while he could be part of a trade, it would be a minor part; Lavarnway is a C/DH, they just signed Montero to an extension, and they don’t have the DH spot; Cecchini and Bradley could be fits though.

            I hate doing the whole trade proposal thing because it always gets ripped apart by one side or the other, but I’m thinking the Diamonbacks would ask for something more like:

            One of Middlebrooks or Bogaerts


            And then maybe an Iglesias or anaudo (guys who were once highly regarded, but not so much anymore), or a Vinicio or Shaw (guys with potential and whose value is rising, but aren’t top prospects and are in the lower minors).

            And maybe another mid-level guy (Cecchini/Coyle/Workman/Tejeda) depending on which of those other guys they get.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             With you also on fans picking proposals apart, as well as nobody really knows the prospects true worth..

            I figured Bradley was a must include as a replacement and then Cecchini, being someone who probably has a good chance to make it on the r/s of the infield in 2-3 seasons.

            Ranaudo, like you mentioned has made 3 starts this year since coming back from the groin injury and not been that well, but figured he is the most advanced and no chance Boston includes Barnes.

            I see them including Bogaerts, he is (to me) still a wild crap shoot type of player. Sure, he could be the next Hanley Ramirez, or the next Tejada. Have seen several in the Sox system over the years like this who have never translated beyond A ball. His trade value could never be higher.

            Brentz’s could never be higher either. He could be a legit 30+ HR guy and corner OF at the MLB level, or a 150+ K guy who becomes a career retread. Ditto Jacobs.

            Can see all of those guys included and any combo of them is fine to me Maine.. Lavarnway is the most polished.. True, they don’t have a catching need and it’s kind of unfortunate in that regard.

            I think if they could pull off that move and keep Middlebrooks you hinted at, it would be pretty good.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            Also, if they really wanted to move Ellsbury to keep the farm system stocked, they wouldn’t have to do two seperate trades, they could do a three way trade sending Ellsbury to a team, who would then turn around and send prospects to the Diamond backs.

          •  thats gotta be a joke

  6. baseball1010 3 years ago

    Kendrick should stick to collecting baseball cards.

  7. rich101682 3 years ago

    Look at Justin’s stat line from the first 50 games of 2011 and the first 50 from this season. They are almost identical.

  8. Upton isn’t going anywhere. He’s the face of the franchise. They had high expectations for him this year and he hasn’t lived up to them yet. Last year he started nearly the exact same way and then went on a tear the second half of the year and finished 3rd in NL MVP voting. He’ll turn it up a notch soon. 

  9. MarinersRoyalsBraves2014 3 years ago

    Frenchy and Greeky (Moustakas) for Justin Upton, perfect trade for both teams. Upton and Kirk Gibson seem to dislike one another and Gibby is the NL Manager of the Year. Gordon could go back to 3B? Cain in CF, Dyson in LF. The entire OF plus Escobar would have the ability get 30SB. Upton only makes 2mil more than Frenchy, Moustakas is exactly what AZ needs at 3B and Frenchy equals Upton in the near term. Maybe send a farmhand in the deal. Upton was #1 overall, in 2006. Moustakas, #2 in 2007. D-Backs made the mistake of paying Upton too soon, and Greeky isn’t “arb eligible” until 2015. Four players capable of 30SB would be historic, maybe? Hosmer is not available and they have Goldschmidt anyway. Gordon and Butler are not going anywhere, it’s a perfect trade. Francoeur is an UFA after the season, he would like hitting in AZ at altitude, surely AZ could afford to extend him at 2years 5-6mil/per. A third player headed to AZ would be a farmhand that can help AZ win their division this year and/or next year. I know Frenchy is a UFA, and that brings up a subject I’ve been dwelling on that everyone realizes is a problem. MLB and MLBPA should adopt a rule that players traded mid-season of a contract year must agree to an extension with the new team before the deal is done. AZ would have to offer Francoeur a contract , such as 2 years@5-6mil. AZ would then have two All-Star-capable players under contract for up to 3 years at a total cost of under 7million, compared to Upton’s 9.75-11mil which escalates every year.

  10. wynams 3 years ago

    If you were paying Upton’s salary, would you be pleased? Private sector jobs get called out by their bosses when they under-perform, why should these men playing a boys game be coddled?

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