Things got a lot hotter in the desert this week when managing partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks Ken Kendrick sounded off on two of his young stars. Stephen Drew is still recovering from an ankle injury sustained last July. Justin Upton, expected to rise to the level of the game’s elite in 2012, has struggled in 51 games this season. He’s generated a miserable .243 batting average (31 points below his career mark) with five home runs and 20 RBI.

Kendrick on Stephen Drew:

“I’m going to be real direct about Stephen,” Kendrick said on XTRA Sports 910 AM. “I think Stephen should have been out there playing before now, frankly. I, for one, am disappointed. I’m going to be real candid and say Stephen and his representatives are more focused on where Stephen is going to be a year from now than going out and supporting the team that’s paying his salary.”

Kendrick on Justin Upton:

“I think Justin is an enigma at this point,” Kendrick said. “I know he had an injury early on and maybe a little bit of a nagging injury. But he’s played. He’s certainly not the Justin Upton that he has been in the past and that we would expect of him. He’s 24 years old, and it’s time for him to be a consistent performer, and right now, this year, he’s not been that.”

Kendrick’s put manager Kirk Gibson in a bind as the Diamondbacks try to defend their NL West title. The team sits at 27-30 entering a weekend series with Oakland, a full nine games behind the Dodgers, and fans and fantasy owners are eagerly anticipating the arrival of Trevor Bauer on the big stage for the second half. Upton agreed with the assessment, as do his countless fantasy owners and Diamondback fans waiting for his bat to ignite.