Bad News For Dan Uggla?

Sep 2, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) against the New York Mets during the 8th inning at Turner Field. The Braves won 13-5. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

According to a tweet and a report from MLB reporter Mark Bowman, there is a possibility that Dan Uggla might not be a part of the Atlanta Braves’ 25 man NLDS playoff roster.

If true, this shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise to fans, and certainly shouldn’t be a shocker to Uggla either.  Nothing is written in stone just yet, but Bowman says an “industry source”, whoever that is, has said that Dan has already been told as much.

I would agree with such a decision, and I’ve personally believed for a long while now that Uggla should be on the bench.  The decision will be made sometime tomorrow (or early Thursday morning at the latest), and while I believe Uggla shouldn’t make the roster, I’ll frankly be surprised if Dan is left off.  The Braves have played him all year long, and I mean ALL year long despite a season long slump, and I’m just not certain of the truth of any “industry source”.

David O’Brien tweeted about how difficult the decision would be for manager Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves’ organization.  I can only imagine how true that is, but not because of Dan’s possible performance in the playoffs, but only because Dan and Fredi go way back to their days in Miami.

Dan Uggla has hit just .179 this year, and despite walking a ton, and hitting  22 homers, he has just not been a source of consistent or adequate production for the Braves.  It was believed that Dan could be having some serious vision issues, but after LASIK surgery back in August, he still only hit .133 with just a single homer after his return.

If Dan is left off the NLDS roster, that could make room for the use of a 12 man pitching roster for the playoffs, which could be a good thing with the uncertainty of Jordan Walden‘s effectiveness as a reliever since his recent groin injury.  It could leave room for some other moves as well perhaps.

Two things come to mind when thinking about Dan Uggla and whether or not he’s on the NLDS roster:  First off, I have complete confidence in Elliot Johnson to replace Dan at 2nd.  There would be no loss defensively, because EJ is a better defensive 2nd baseman, and Elliot has proven that his bat is more sound than that of Uggla.  Elliot has been pretty effective in Dan’s place, putting together a season of .261 w/ seven extra-base hits and 10 RBIs in 32 games since being claimed from the Royals off waivers.  Not bad.  Secondly, I have to wonder about the wisdom of B.J. Upton on the 25 man roster as well.  The need for more depth in the outfield in the playoffs would be the only reason I could see for B.J. being on the roster when you consider that offensively, his struggles have been just as troublesome.

We’ll all know soon, and personally I hope the rumor is true.  Despite the Braves owing Dan Uggla $13 Mil each season until the end of 2015, the news doesn’t bode well for his future with the Braves.   I support and love all the Braves’ players, but in order for the Braves to win in the NLDS, they certainly need to field the best team possible, despite paychecks, time with the club, or any personal feelings anyone may have.  We should all support the team as a whole first, and players a close 2nd only.  Whatever happens, we’re all pulling for the team almost everyone says is the underdog.

 

Topics: Atlanta Braves, FanSided

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  • http://thekencarroll.blogspot.com/ Ken Carroll

    A tough decision, indeed! Dan Uggla is a class act. I like his hustle and team play as well as his willingness to take ball 4. I think if he had shown any improvement at all over the last month or even last week that he makes the roster easily, but it just didn’t happen.

    E. Johnson (2B, 3B and LF), P. Janish (3B, SS and 2B) and C. Johnson (3B and 1B) can all play multiple infield positions. Freeman and Simmons are locks at 1B and SS respectively and excellent defenders at those positions. I’m going to assume that Joey Terdoslavich also makes the roster (OF and 1B and maybe 3B in an emergency) so we should have good coverage and line-up flexibility in the infield. And yet . . .

    And yet, I have a bad feeling about leaving Dan off of the roster. Call him a Swedish good-luck charm or a man who has the potential to do great things if some simple yet maddeningly unknown problem could be rectified, but if we leave him off the roster then I fear we will regret it.

    • Joseph Fain

      I have to disagree that Dan is a class act. His reaction to his benching a month or so ago proved what an arrogant, non-team player he is.

  • Tim Wilde

    No way that you can have both Janish AND Elliot Johnson on the roster. They are BOTH pretty weak offensively and you seldom need a “defensive specialist” in the post season. More than likely you will need a bat off the bench in a crucial situation and Janish will never be THAT guy!

    • fireboss

      So who would you replace him with? Uggla? I think there’s a good case to have Janish at 3rd in the ninth instead of CJ. Though he’s inproved some this year his range isn’t as good and his arm isn’t as accurate

      • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

        Yeah, I can see that, provided we have a lead. Defensively it would be worth it, but offensively, not at all. It’s also a mistake to underrate the importance of defense (reply to Tim above) in the playoffs. We’ve seen a single error cost games way too many times.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      In looking at Kershaw/Greinke, I think I’d rather have Uggla _if_ he can work the count. We’re looking at some data suggesting that the deeper you get w/Kershaw, the better. He’s also 3 for 9 vs. Greinke… okay, w/3K’s as well.

      Then again, Elliot is 2 for 3 vs. GreenKey. But certainly Janish is no better offensively.

  • fireboss

    If Dan isn’t on the roster he’s definitely played his last game for the Braves and will be dumped somewhere a team needs to take a chance on a free player. I expect that to happen anyway but I’d be very surprised if he isn’t on the roster. While many want BJ to be left off too he will be there. BJ has defense and speed on his side while Dan only has hustle.

    If they are that worried about Walden – I don’t trust him in leverage situations…or Ayala or Loe and I’m always concerned when Varvaro comes in. the much vaunted bullpen has really been Avilan, Carpenter, Kimbrel with streaks form Varavro, Walden and Ayala. That’s and his obvious tiring under a major league workload is why Woody is in the bullpen. I’d really like to see Hale on the roster too.
    I like Dan, he’s a great guy, by all accounts a great teammate and a hustler on every play. But pragmatically his glove isn’t good, his arm from second erratic and bat has disappeared. If he weren’t making $13M he’d have been DFA long ago.

    The bench worries me a lot. I have no faith that Joey T will hit coming off the bench. Pinch hitting is HARD particularly for young players. I doubt JT makes the bench. It will likely be Reed and Janish who have no pop, BJ and Dan who might run into one and ironically or best offensive bat option, Laird. Schafer could replace Janish if Dan is kept because he’s fast and might run into one by accident.

    Pitchers – Meds, Minor, Teheran, Garcia, Wood, Maholm, Kimbrel, Avilan,Carp, Ayala (shudder) or Walden , Varvaro (flinch), Downs

    The lack bench power argues for dropping both Dan and Paul and keeping both Ayala and Walden and adding Hale. Meds would likely be as effective a pinch hitter as either and played SS a long time ago so as an emergency infielder how much worse could he be? Okay he could be I know that but hat I could even imagine such a thing because of our bench is sad

    • Joseph Fain

      Couple of thoughts:
      > I came on here to write that if Dan isn’t on the post season roster, he is definitely done as a Brave. His attitude towards his benching probably sealed that anyway, but it also showed that him being left off the PS roster would irreprably damage his relationship with the team.
      > Gattis = bench power bat
      > Why would the Braves carry both Maholm and Garcia? I don’t see any reason for Maholm to make the roster.
      > Braves would never risk our best starting pitchers health (Meds) by having him play shortstop

      • fireboss

        I agree Dan is done and have been saying that since Fredi got the okay to bench him. I’ll give Uggla a pass on the dumb remarks because he’s suffering as a person and the ultimate humiliation for a blue collar guy who fought his way up is to be useless. Everyone on the team still likes Dan and they know him best. He’s always hustled and given everything he had even if it wasn’t very good. So I’ll forgive that slip into a self defending pity just this once,.

        Gattis will start so he isn’t the bench bat.
        I wouldn’t carry Maholm either but expected Fredi to go buy the book. He didn’t and Hale being there is good news,
        The comment about Medlen was to make a point not a recommendation. I’m well aware they wouldn’t do it. Gimme a break and read for context. I said “would likely be as effective (as a pinch hitter) …” as a comparison to carrying Uggla’s empty bat.

        • Joseph Fain

          Sorry boss. Trying to read quickly at work :)

          • fireboss

            no sweat :)