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The Braves bench Dan Uggla

Sep 3, 2012, 12:47 PM EDT

Dan Uggla Getty Images

Dan Uggla started the All-Star Game for the National league. Now he’s riding the pine. Fredi Gonzalez has benched him:

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is benching three-time All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla. Uggla is hitting only .208. Martin Prado is starting at second base against Colorado on Monday for the second straight day.

Reed Johnson has been hitting .322/.355/.390 since coming over from Chicago, and he will likely slide into left field more often with Uggla benched.

Only three years and $39 million left on the Uggla deal!

  1. dondada10 - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    But then how Uggla smash?

  2. kneedeepinpujols - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    I’ve gotta say, Dan Uggla was by far my worst fantasy baseball pick… I got him pretty late but thought it was a steal cause the dudes gonna hit 30+ homers right? WRONG

    • willclarkgameface - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      Don’t feel bad. You’re not the only one that had these feelings. I was guilty of it last season before he showed his true Atlanta colors.

      But my God, you did that this season?

      I stayed far, far away from him and it was a good move.

      I watched a Braves game recently and I’ll just say this: Uggla’s head isn’t screwed on straight. I don’t know if he keeps thinking about his dipping average or at the amount of tail that goes away when your average dips, but he seriously wasn’t thinking about his fielding or his base running. It was like he wasn’t even watching the same game.

      I’m not sure if he’s normally like this, but it was disturbing to see a major league baseball player make mistakes we usually take 12 year olds to task over.

    • cur68 - Sep 3, 2012 at 5:03 PM

      Made the same mistake. He turned into a pumpkin. He’s riding the e-pine for me now and will likely remain there if I can’t trade him for a bat that isn’t made of whiffle.

  3. Old Gator - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Fat Fredi overreacts. He should take a lesson from his old hermano Slobbering Ozzie, who never benches a guy until he hits .170. Ozzie understands that when you get down below the surface of Rio Mendoza into the .160s you can form nitrogen bubbles in your ulnar collateral ligament, and then you can’t even be traded for soap and towels for the locker room showers.

  4. jsally430 - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    glad I traded him for matt Moore Desmond Jennings and Espinosa when he was batting 268 with 12 homers

  5. hokiegajanisgod - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    When was Theo Epstein GM of the Braves? Uggla’s contract has an all to familiar fingerprint to Red Sox fans.

    Did he consult for ATL when he had a few weeks off back in 2005?

  6. jimtron11 - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    It doesn’t take a genius to see that Dan Uggla has had a rough year. On the surface, it seems Freddie Gonzalez is making a logical decision by sitting Uggla. But the timing of his move is bizzarre. One week ago today (8/27), Uggla hit a deep shot to center field at Petco Park in the top of the 8th, but Cameron Maybin made a leaping catch at the top of the wall (it was a homer at any other park). Instead of a 2-4, HR game, Uggla went 1-3. The next day, Uggla crushed a home run that traveled more than 400-feet to left field. After a 1-3, BB, R showing in the final game of the three-game San Diego series, Uggla homered again in the first game of a home series versus Philadelphia (8/31). He went 1-4 in the second game of the Phillies series in what turned out to be his final game as Atlanta’s starting second baseman. After Sunday’s game, in which he didn’t appear, Uggla was told he would have to adapt to a bench role despite the fact that he was in the midst of a five-game hitting streak during which he hit two home runs (but as I mentioned, it could have easily been five but for Petco’s absurd dimensions). Granted, this was a modest streak, but such stretches are exactly what Uggla is known for (his 33-game streak a year ago was frequently elongated with 1-4 performances), but why not see if he can keep it going? Uggla hit .296 with 21 bombs and a .969 OPS after the All-Star break in 2011 as a 31-year-old. Uggla has hit at least 27 home runs in each of his previous six Major League campaigns. Uggla’s elevated K rate (up 4.9% over his career rate) is partly to blame for his supressed batting average. But Uggla has also seen his BABIP decrease by .20 compared with his career norm, despite a career-best LD rate. Uggla’s HR/FB rate has dipped to 12.2% in 2012, compared 15.5% during the rest of his career. Uggla’s also playing his best defense (+.03) since 2008. Uggla’s WAR through the first five months of 2012 currently sits at 2.4. His 2011 WAR was 2.5. Are we to believe that Uggla’s skills have eroded to the point where he’s worthy of being benched in favor of the platoon duo of Jose Costanza and Reed Johnson? The numbers indicate Uggla has been a victim of bad luck in 2012. They do not portend a player who’s seen his skills suddenly evaporate in his age-32 season. Johnson is a nice player, and I could see starting him in left, with Martin Prado over to second-base versus LHPs. But Uggla, who is still signed through 2015, doesn’t deserve to ride the pine. Freddie is making a mistake and, should the Braves miss the playoff by a game or two like they did in 2011, it could very well cost him his job this time.

  7. ugglasforearms - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    I might have to change my handle to Uggla’s Butt Splinters

  8. theawesomersfranchise - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    New testing procedures

  9. GoneYickitty - Sep 4, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Uggla was, I believe, the most undeserving All-Star starter in the last 20 years. And I say that as a Braves fan. Seems especially ironic given his role as the biggest All-Star goat in history a few years back. In any case, he is terrible and I can’t believe the Braves have as good of a record as they do with him in the lineup the whole season to this point.

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