Upton Jr. activated, set for Padres debut

Veteran outfielder has been sidelined all season by left foot injury

Upton Jr. activated, set for Padres debut

CINCINNATI -- When the Padres arrived in Atlanta late Sunday, Melvin Upton Jr. was waiting for them.

The Padres reinstated the outfielder from the disabled list prior to their series opener at Turner Field against the Braves -- Upton's former team -- on Monday. In order to make room for Upton on the 25-man roster, the Padres optioned outfielder Abraham Almonte to Triple-A El Paso. Almonte was hitting .186 in 43 at-bats this season.

On Saturday, Upton played in the last of his Minor League rehabilitation games with El Paso, going 1-for-4.

In 50 at-bats over 13 games with the Chihuahuas, Upton hit .280/.333/.380 with one home run and six RBIs. He also had 12 strikeouts.

Upton, who was traded to the Padres from the Braves the day before Opening Day in the Craig Kimbrel deal, has been sidelined with sesamoiditis -- a painful foot condition -- in his left foot since Spring Training.

Now that he's healthy and ready to join the big league team, the Padres have to figure out what to do with Upton, who is still owed $46.35 million on his contract.

The team is currently using Upton's brother, Justin, in left field, Will Venable in center field and Matt Kemp in right field. Wil Myers started a rehabilitation assignment on Sunday and could rejoin the team later in the week.

Melvin Upton appeared in 10 games with El Paso in center field. Myers was the Padres' Opening Day center fielder, though he moved to first base briefly last month when Yonder Alonso was on the disabled list. Alonso has since rejoined the team.

"That's a good thing. We're getting guys [back] who are good players," said Padres manager Bud Black. "Now we've got to make it work. We've got to make it fit."

That the Uptons both return to Atlanta on Monday makes for an interesting twist to the story.

Justin Upton played the past two years for the Braves, hitting 27 and 29 home runs, respectively. In 2014, he knocked in a career-high 102 runs. Justin was obtained in December from Atlanta as part of a six-player deal.

Justin has gotten off to a fast start in his first season with the Padres, hitting .297/.368/.512 with 12 home runs, 37 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.

As for Melvin Upton, his time with the Braves (2013-14), featured more struggles than success, as he hit .198/.279/.314. He told MLB.com in April that he hopes a change of scenery can kick-start his career.

"Unfortunately, it happened the way it did for the Braves and on my side. I'll take the blame for that. I can't point the finger at anyone else," Melvin said. "For me, it's done with, it's behind me. It's a fresh start, a clean slate. It's up to me."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.