Braves second baseman Dan Uggla seen here doubling against the Mets saw an eye specialist today and may require Lasik surgery, Phot Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Braves' Uggla May Need Lasik Surgery

It must be Dan Uggla’s turn.  In 2007 Brian McCann had Lasik and returned with a bang. By the end of 2009 his vision had changed and he had to have the surgery again.  Once more he came back strong. Last year Freddie Freeman went through lots of glasses and contacts and considered Lasik  before he finally found the right kind of contacts. He still wears safety glasses at first to protect his eyes from blowing dust.  According to AJC’s Jeff Shultz Uggla was out of the lineup and not at the ballpark tonight in order to visit an eye specialist.

Shultz reports that  Uggla is being evaluated for Lasik surgery.  Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez was quiet on the subject but assistant hitting coach Scott Fletcher told the AJC:

““…it’s something that’s been bothering him for a while and only now is it something he’s really taking care of . . .There’s certain balls and stuff he said he wasn’t seeing well. At times he’s flinching on balls that are good pitches . . .”

In Wednesday’s game Uggla was called out on a pitch he turned away from, it’s the third or fourth time I’ve seen him flinch from a strike in the last couple of weeks so this makes some sense.  If he does requires the procedure he should not miss more than a game or two at most.

UPDATE:

After Thursday night’s loss to the Mets, Uggla confirmed that he had vision issues last season but  in spite of his spiking strikeouts and the downward spiral of his batting average, didn’t think it serious enough to have it checked out. In spring training he was diagnosed with astigmatism but again didn’t connect that to his failure to hit consistently until he watched video after Wednesday’s game.  He told AJC’s Shultz:

“. . .I was just trying to battle through it, thinking, ‘Oh, it’s gonna come [around] like it always does,’ not thinking, ‘Maybe I’m not seeing the ball. But after bailing out on so many curveballs and taking so many front-door sliders and hanging sliders, I thought, ‘Let me go get this checked out . .”

Uggla was fitted for new contact lenses Thursday and will try those for a while before considering Lasik.

After McCann’s first surgery he came back with a vengeance as the table below shows.

Year G SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ Awards
2007 139 74 .270 .320 .452 .772 99 AS
2008 145 64 .301 .373 .523 .896 135 AS,SS
2009 138 83 .281 .349 .486 .834 119 AS,SS
2010 143 98 .269 .375 .453 .828 124 AS,MVP-21,SS
2011 128 89 .270 .351 .466 .817 122 AS,SS
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/20/2013.

You know by now Uggla could use the same kind of return. His numbers haven’t been good since arriving in Atlanta.

Year Age G HR RBI SO BA OBP SLG
2010 30 159 33 105 149 .287 .369 .508
2011 31 161 36 82 156 .233 .311 .453
2012 32 154 19 78 168 .220 .348 .384
2013 33 67 13 27 92 .194 .319 .396
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/20/2013.

 That’s A Wrap

I don’t wish any surgery on anyone. However if is this is necessary and the cause of Uggla’s downward spiral, he could well return and go on a tear that brings back memories of his 2010 campaign with the Marlins. My only I have many questions about the whole thing is, the first of those is what took them so long to why didn’t the Braves insist he have his eyes checked when he was obviously not seeing the ball well? Flecther knew he had vision issues going back to last year so why wasn’t he sent to a specialist right sooner?   A moot point I know but a question worth asking.

Tags: Atlanta Braves Dan Uggla

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