Atlanta • Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez says he has considered asking center fielder B.J. Upton to work out his struggles in a minor league assignment.
Upton, signed to the biggest contract in franchise history at five years, $75.25 million, has a .146 batting average, 109 points below his seven-year career mark with Tampa Bay.
Gonzalez indicated that Upton has enough service time in the majors to refuse an assignment if he disagrees with the move.
"In my own mind, you think about those things, but really I haven't gotten to that point," Gonzalez said. "I think there's some logistics contractual things and that sort of stuff that they might not be able to do it that easy."
Upton was not available for comment before Atlanta hosted the Washington Nationals.
Gonzalez has spoken with Upton about his absence from the lineup, but not about an assignment in the minors.
"He understands to a certain point," Gonzalez said. "Like good players do, they want to play. We've had conversations and he's making the adjustments and we'll see."
Upton is hitless in the Braves' past seven games. He was out of the lineup Friday for the second straight night.
Around the majors
Nationals • Washington ace Stephen Strasburg has a strained muscle on his right side and will return on Saturday to be examined by the team's medical staff.
Strasburg lasted just two innings the shortest start of his career Friday night.
Athletics • Oakland has reinstated right fielder Josh Reddick from the disabled list.
The team made the move before Friday night's game against the Chicago White Sox, sending catcher Luke Montz to Triple-A Sacramento to clear space on the roster.
Red Sox • Boston center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was removed from the starting lineup for the series opener against the Yankees because of a tight left groin.