The Angels have placed outfielder Justin Upton on the injured list with a right lumbar strain, per a team announcement. In a corresponding move, fellow outfielder Kean Wong has been recalled.
This will be the second stint on the injured list for Upton this year, after missing almost a month with a low back strain earlier in the season. He’s only played in three games over the past couple weeks, perhaps because of this injury, but also because the Angels are out of contention and have been increasingly using playing time to audition youngsters such as Brandon Marsh and Jo Adell.
Upton still has one season remaining on the five-year deal he signed with the club back in November of 2017. The 34-year-old will be making $28MM next year. The first year of the deal went well, as Upton slashed .257/.344/.463, for a wRC+ of 121 in 2018. But the three subsequent seasons have all been disappointing, with a collective slash line of .211/.296/.409 and a wRC+ of 93.
Because of the remaining playing time going to those younger players, the club can let Upton focus on getting healthy and hopefully finding some of his former, more-productive form in the last year of his deal.