Dan Uggla‘s eyes are better. He’s reportedly still working through a number of prescriptions in an effort to find something helpful for him. But are these changes working for him on the field? Let’s find out:
BEFORE the eye exams: June 1-June 19
- 13-57 (.228).
- One double, 3 homers
- 14 walks, 24 strikeouts.
- K-rate: 24-71, 33.8%
It is probably noteworthy that those home runs both came in games played on the same weekend in Los Angeles. Gotta wonder if perhaps he simply was seeing better on those particular days. It is also interesting – during this stretch – that Uggla actually had more hits than walks! More on that in a bit….
AFTER the exams: June 23-present.
(I’m giving him 2 days of slack here… he had mentioned to reporters that there would be an ‘adjustment period’ for getting used to his new contacts, and indeed, he went 0-4 (with 3 walks) in games player on June 21-22. Of course, as we saw from the story above, there have been even more contacts in the past few days.
- 8-28 (.286)
- One homer, two doubles, one triple
- just 3 walks… with 11 strikeouts
- K-rate: 11-31, 35.4%
June had already been Dan’s best month of the year so far… even before the effort to address his vision issues. But in the last 7 games, it appears that we are suddenly seeing a more aggressive Dan Uggla at the plate. The walk rate has been cut in half. The strikeout rate is actually about the same so far (within 1K either direction). The four extra base hits match his total for the rest of the month… and all the way back through May 27th.
Regarding that walk-to-hit ratio. Uggla leads the majors in this category (88% overall… but it was almost 100% before the eye check-ups). Even so, he still leads this odd category by 12% over the next closest player. Who is that? B.J. Upton of all people (33 BB, 43 hits)! And brother Justin Upton is 10th on the list with 48 walks vs. 72 hits (a modest 67% ratio). But this “hit surge” from Uggla… if you want to call it that… has enabled Justin to move past Dan on the walks total for the season: Justin Upton is now fifth in the majors in walks; Dan Uggla is 8th.
So Dan’s eyes are still not entirely fixed… but certainly there appears to be a difference, in both his plate approach and in his results.