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Gibson on Upton’s continuing struggles

The most prevalent storyline for the 2012 Arizona
Diamondbacks has been the lack of production from two-time
All-Star right fielder Justin Upton.

During the last home stand, Upton was baseball’s
equivalent of a healthy scratch; he watched back-to-back
victories over the Colorado Rockies from the Arizona
dugout.

After a scheduled day off for the team, Upton was
reinserted back in the lineup for an interleague series
against the Oakland Athletics, and he’s been entrenched
ever since. In those ten games, Upton is sporting a
respectable .333 batting average and .372 on-base
percentage.

There is still concern, however, that the popular pick to
win the MVP Award in the National League this season isn’t
producing enough runs. Since returning June 8, Upton has
just one extra-base hit and has driven in only four runs –
– two of those coming Monday night in a win over Seattle.

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson, a weekly guest of Burns
& Gambo on Arizona Sports 620, doesn’t seem too concerned
about Upton’s lack of production, but admitted he does
think about tweaking his lineup and Upton’s place in it.
The 24-year-old has hit in his customary three-hole since
being reinserted into Gibson’s starting nine.

“I don’t know else I’d move in there and how it shapes the
rest of our lineup up,” Gibson said Tuesday. “Justin’s
been successful in the past, there’s a point in me
sticking behind him and showing confidence in him.”