“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.