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Justin Upton has battled nagging injuries in his young career, just like Jason Heyward.
One look back at the career of Justin Upton shows part of why he is expendable to the Diamondbacks.
Similar to Jason Heyward, Upton is an amazing talent but has battled numerous nagging injuries already in his young career, which have made his numbers suffer at times.
Upton's first full season in Arizona was 2008. He hit .250/.353/.463 with 15 homers and 42 RBI in 108 games.
Overall those are fine numbers—especially since he was only 20 years old that year. However, he missed a game in April due to a hamstring injury, 43 games in July through August due to an oblique and three games in September due to a headache.
Upton's career took off in 2009, as he hit .300/.366/.532 with 26 homers and 86 RBI. At age 21 he appeared to be a future superstar, but once again injuries bothered him. This time it was a game in June for a shoulder and 18 games in August due to another oblique injury.
Upton struggled at the plate in 2010 as he hit just .273/.356/.442 with 17 homers and 69 RBI in a year where many had predicted a possible breakout season.
Obviously the breakout didn't happen and his numbers regressed because of injuries. There was a hip in July that made him miss one game. Then he missed 23 games in September due to a shoulder injury that he really struggled to get over.
Upton finally had his breakout year last year.
He enjoyed the best season in his professional career when he hit .289/.369/.529 with 31 homers and 88 RBI along with 39 doubles and 21 steals. He also managed to stay healthy for a full season, as he only missed one game due to a head injury in September.
This year has continued the pattern of injury and inconsistency, though. Upton is hitting .273/.353/.401 with seven homers and 37 RBI, and has really disappointed with his lack of power. That lack of power may be due to a thumb injury that has cost him three games, but appears to be bothering him since he hasn't had a chance to rest it.
When he is on, Justin Upton is one of the best hitters in the game—as his 2011 season proves. However when he's not on, he frustrates the fans and organization as a whole.
All injury data courtesy of SB Nation.