Hernandez, D-backs will protect Upton when time is right

Sep 3, 2011, 3:42 AM | Updated: 4:45 am

PHOENIX – Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton has been beaned 16 times this season prompting many to call for retaliation to protect the team’s star.

It’s a tricky situation for Arizona as the team is in the middle of a pennant race and doesn’t want to lose important players to a suspension.

The D-backs definitely don’t want Upton to take matters into his own hands, so the responsibility to retaliate falls on the pitching staff.

Arizona can’t risk losing any of their pitchers to suspension either, but they are taking note of who is going after Upton.

“We talked about it internally and we’re definitely frustrated that he’s been getting hit.”

“We do take mental notes of how many times and whose hitting who,” said D-backs reliever David Hernandez on the Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf show on Friday.

The Arizona reliever insinuated the team will seek retribution when the time is right.

“This isn’t the last season of Major League Baseball. There’s always next year.”

“We know when the time’s right and when its not. We as a pitching staff, we’re going to take care of our hitters,” said Hernandez.

The D-backs players are right to be cautious and not risk getting suspended when the games are so important right now.

Let’s just hope Upton doesn’t get injured if he is hit again this season.

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