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B.J. Upton Injury: Rays Center Fielder To Start Season On DL

The Tampa Bay Rays have been hoping to start the season on a healthy note, but it appears that they're going to lose at least one player to injuries. B.J. Upton has still not recovered fully from his collision in the outfield with Desmond Jennings, and the Rays feel it would be best for him if he started the season on the disabled list.

In the aftermath of the collision, Upton has had ongoing issues with his back. Some days it's looser and he can play with it; other days it's tight and he can't do much. His back has not loosened up as much as the Rays had hoped, so they are retroactively placing him on the DL to start the season. Technically, he could return from the DL after only missing a handful of games, but the Rays have stated that there is no timetable for his return. Whenever his back is better, he will play.

In his place, the Rays are expected to promote rookie Brandon Guyer to fill in on the bench and in the outfield. The Rays do have other internal options as well -- including Jeff Salazar and Will Rhymes -- but Guyer offers the Rays the most upside and would be able to immediately help the team during their difficult opening stretch of games.

For more on the Rays, drop by SB Nation's blog DRaysBay.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.