Upton rewarded by Diamondbacks
TUCSON, Ariz. — Justin Upton has lived with high expectations virtually since the day he picked up a baseball bat.
Now at 22, with two full major league seasons already behind him, he says he welcomes the challenge of living up to the $51.25 million, six-year contract he signed yesterday with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the second-largest deal in franchise history.
"I do kind of put that pressure on myself," he said. "I want to be great, that's the thing. If you want to be great, then you set your goals higher."
Upton earned his first All-Star berth last season, when he hit .300 with 26 homers and 86 RBIs.
He gets a $1.25 million signing bonus, half on April 15 and the rest on July 15. He receives salaries of $500,000 this year, $4.25 million in 2011, $6.75 million in 2012, $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014 and $14.5 million in 2015.
The only bigger contract in Diamondbacks' history was the $52.4 million, four-year deal Randy Johnson signed in 1999.
LINCECUM FAILS IN NEW DELIVERY TEST
Tim Lincecum abandoned the windup and threw out of the stretch hoping that he would throw more strikes.
It didn't work.
The two-time Cy Young winner lasted just one inning in his spring debut, but the San Francisco Giants beat the Seattle Mariners, 8-7, in 10 innings yesterday in Peoria, Ariz.
"I had been struggling out of the windup," he said. "So I told 'Rags (pitching coach Dave Righetti)' that I was going to throw from the stretch more, that I could throw more strikes."
Lincecum was expected to throw two innings. He worked only the 29-pitch first, giving up two hits and three runs.
BERKMAN CAUTIOUS WITH BRUISED KNEE
Houston All-Star first baseman Lance Berkman will sit out today's spring training opener against Washington because of a bruised left knee.
Manager Brad Mills said yesterday that he's being cautious by holding Berkman out of today's game at Kissimmee, Fla. Berkman injured the knee Sunday during team workouts as he was running the bases.
VICTORINO RESTING SORE SHOULDER
Philadelphia All-Star center fielder Shane Victorino (right shoulder) was held out of the starting lineup in last night's 13-6 victory over Florida State at Clearwater, Fla., and will likely sit out today's game with the New York Yankees.
Manager Jerry Manuel expects Victorino, a St. Anthony alum from Maui, back in the lineup "in the next two to three days."
BRUISED SHOULDER LIMITS HAMILTON
Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton says he probably won't return to the field until next week because of a bruised left shoulder.
Hamilton was hurt a week ago diving for a pop-up during spring training. He participated in drills Saturday but has been limited since then.
BATTING GLOVE WITH MORE PROTECTION
Baseball players at spring training have a new product to sample, and it's something that might be rather handy.
New York Mets catcher Omir Santos is among those trying out high-tech batting gloves that are designed to protect a hitter's hands and wrists. The gloves are said to reduce the impact of getting hit by a pitch by about 60 percent.