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.

Gonzalez has spoken with Upton about his absence from the lineup, but not about an assignment in the minors.

Upton is hitless in the Braves’ past seven games. He was out of the lineup Friday for the second consecutive night.

Jason Heyward made his second start this year in center as Atlanta hosted the Washington Nationals.

Teixeira, Youkilis back with N.Y.

The New York Yankees welcomed back first baseman Mark Teixeira and third baseman Kevin Youkilis from the disabled list and immediately inserted them into their injury-depleted batting order for a series opener against the Boston Red Sox.

Teixeira had a partially torn tendon sheath in his right wrist, sustained while taking batting practice with the U.S. at the World Baseball Classic on March 5. Youkilis has not played since April 27 because of a back injury.

To clear roster spots before Friday night’s game, the Yankees optioned right-hander Ivan Nova and left-hander Vidal Nuno to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes-Barre.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said a position player likely would be moved off the active roster on Monday, when left-hander Andy Pettitte is activated.

Around the leagues

The St. Louis Cardinals optioned pitcher Mitchell Boggs to Triple-A Memphis and called up rookie Keith Butler. … The Arizona Diamondbacks activated infielder Willie Bloomquist and placed third baseman Eric Chavez on the 15-day disabled list. … Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was removed from the starting lineup for Friday night’s series opener against the New York Yankees because of a tight left groin.. He stole five bases Thursday night. … The Philadelphia Phillies released right-handed reliever Chad Durbin and recalled left-hander Joe Savery from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.