Uggla could be left off the Braves NLDS roster

When the Braves announce their National League Division Series roster on Wednesday, there is a distinct possibility Dan Uggla will not be included.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez met with some players regarding roster decisions after the team held a workout that was closed to media members on Tuesday at Turner Field.  An industry source said Uggla was informed that he will not be part of the 25-man roster the Braves will use during their best-of-five NLDS matchup against the Dodgers.

Before making anything official on Wednesday, the Braves will first evaluate the health of some of the players, including right-handed reliever  Jordan Walden, who has been ineffective in three of the four appearances he has made since missing three weeks with a strained groin.

If Uggla is indeed left off the roster, the Braves could go with a 12-man pitching staff, which could provide some insurance in the event that Walden’s struggles continue.

Uggla has batted .179 with 22 home runs and a .671 OPS in 136 games this season.  The veteran second baseman has hit .133 with one home run and a .508 OPS in the 77 plate appearances he has compiled while playing 24 games since undergoing LASIK surgery to repair his vision in August.

As the regular season’s final weeks unfolded, it became apparent that Elliot Johnson would serve as Atlanta’s starting second baseman when the postseason began.  But there was some thought there might still be a bench spot for Uggla, who drew the club’s highest salary ($13 million) this year.



Many do not understand how difficult this is for Fredi Gonzales given what I will go so far as to say is his almost father/son or brother-like relationship w/Uggla going back to their days @ the Marlins and, if he does make this move, my respect for Gonzales, which is already pretty high, will increase exponentially. Having said that, it would not even be an issue for any other great manager. It would be a done deal. In fact he would’ve been sitting for most of the 2nd half. G has done all he can to try to help Dan get his bat going. However, this ‘charitable’ extension of benevolence cannot persist in the post season. There is no more time and losing is now not an option. It all boils down to this: Dan is simply not contributing to the team! He’s not. And he MUST know it. I hate it. It sickens me to say it. Dan, like me, is a TN boy. He works hard. He is a monster talent. He is, unquestionably, a leadership force on the team. He is an exemplary veteran for the younger players. I REALLY like Dan Uggla and I feel he still has potential to be a monster talent and major contributor to the Braves program and roster. Just not this year. Uggla’s glimpses of brilliant play at 2nd where he makes stunning, mind-numbingly excellent plays on difficult balls hit in his direction (though he inexplicably sometimes woofs on simple plays), is something the Braves can generally count on. He has shown All-Star quality stretches of excellence, at times. And has even had some excellent entire years, most notably as a Fish in Miami. However, there is a time when players must realize that this is simply not their year. The same can be said of BJ Upton, although he is arguably a threat on the bases to steal….or, at least, theoretically, can be. Parenthetically, can I say that I’d love to see a study and some stats regarding how poor performance at the plate affects the defensive play of pro baseballers? I say this because both Uggla and BJ have had some games where even their D has negatively affected the team during this amazingly, confusingly poor offensive year. There has to be a clear correlation. BJ has looked downright lazy at times. He has been lethargic on many critical plays during his offensive slump (most notably on the play where he basically hung poor Gattis out to dry in a recent game) but amazing during those rare times when he is hitting well. Uggla? Not so much….but some poor defensive play by both 2013 underachievers has had more than one commentator opine as to the relationship between poor plate performance as it relates to bad D play. I must also say that I was deeply disturbed and troubled by a recent interview with Dan before a Braves game on Braves Live’s Pregame show where, you may remember, he said he didn’t like not being played and rather than humbling himself as BJ had previously, he made that expression of his opinion in such a manner as to appear to feel entitled based on his veteran status and pay, I suppose, as it couldn’t, by any stretch of the imagination been because of his stellar play. He seemed oblivious to just how bad it’s been and how detrimental it has been to the team but, just as he seems when he strikes out over and over and over, and walks off seemingly unconcerned, he seemed as if it should be a foregone conclusion that he MUST play as if a relative owned the team or something! Such an opinion would be laughable if not so disturbing, as it is an indication that he apparently does not understand how very bad his plate performance has suffered…AND hurt the Braves this year. And, that, my friend, is a dangerous attitude, unfortunately. As an aside, I, for one, going forward, would like for him to at least try batting with a still bat, standing at the plate without all the bat swag and jerking around and such. I’m no batting coach- far from it-however, that HAS TO take some of the power and ability to focus out of his ABs and everyone knows, some radical change has to be forthcoming to get his bat to work. Anyway, I certainly hate this for Dan. I think the same issue is extant for BJ. His pitiful play this year, especially at the plate is a HUGE problem and, quite frankly, with BJ’s situation, the elephant in the room is that question no one ever seems to want to raise- understandably- his relationship with his brother and how benching him may affect the indispensable bat of J-Up. And, if one is realistic, that must also be taken into consideration. With that, I’ll say, scalp ’em Braves and beat the Dodgers! It MUST be done. We have to win. It’s been too fabulous a year to stop now!! GO BRAVES!!

From what I read I like Dan and wish that he was having a better year. Last night the TBS crew talked about the potential of his bat off the bench being a difference maker and the fact that he could get on a roll like last year. We’ve heard Joe talk about how he is hitting the ball to right field but it has not happen in a game. I still wonder if he is seeing the ball well AT NIGHT even after the surgery. However, my biggest concern is the double play combination for I have seen that Johnson and Simmons are not always on the same page. If this happens we are in big trouble such as Chippers error last year.

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