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.
Uggla could be left off the Braves NLDS roster http://t.co/JvHZ9BAeMD
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) October 1, 2013
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.
Uggla roster decision has been difficult one for #Braves officials. Haven’t heard definitely that he’s off, just that it’s difficult call.
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) October 1, 2013
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.