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Braves calling up potential Dan Uggla replacement Tommy La Stella

May 28, 2014, 12:46 PM EDT

dan uggla getty Getty Images

In the strongest sign yet that the Braves might finally be ready to bench Dan Uggla or perhaps even cut bait on the struggling second baseman, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that they’re calling up Triple-A second baseman Tommy La Stella.

La Stella is 25 years old and not regarded as a top prospect, but he’s consistently posted excellent on-base percentages in the minors and as a low-strikeout, low-power hitter he’s basically the opposite of Uggla’s skill set.

This season La Stella has a .293 batting average and .384 on-base percentage in 47 games at Triple-A, with more walks (25) than strikeouts (14). He’s slugging just .359, but La Stella isn’t totally without power and has a .474 career slugging percentage with an average of 10 homers per 150 games.

Uggla, meanwhile, is hitting just .177 with two homers and a .511 OPS in 34 games and dating all the way back to the beginning of 2012 he’s hit .198 with 374 strikeouts in 324 games. Uggla is still owed $13 million for next season as part of a five-year, $62 million deal, but he’s well past the point of giving the Braves any reason to think there’s a turnaround coming.

  1. renaado - May 28, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Yesss! Certainly the day I’ve been waitin for has been fulfilled.

  2. xpensivewinos - May 28, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Gonna be funny when someone picks him up for the league minimum after the Braves cut him and he starts hitting again…..

    So what’s the over-under on when they do the same with B.J. Upton? Watching that guy attempt to hit is really painful.

    • Anthony Tshering - May 28, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      What makes you think there is any chance of that happening given his last 3 years?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 28, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        I’ve always liked Uggla (except when he is hitting against the Phillies), and I would love to see him turn things around. But yea…real hard to see that happening

  3. nsauser - May 28, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    Sadly it’s been past time to move past Uggla. So is this debacle on Fredi? He recommended Uggla after he was fired as manager of the Marlins, right?

  4. cameron poe - May 28, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    This was a mistake the day the contract was offered. Second base is just not a position you offer that kind of crazy, franchise hampering money to. But, with that said the Braves have a glaring hole at second. This is not just a problem with Uggla hitting this is a problem defensively. In an infield that is not amazing but solid Uggla and Pastornicky are the same as putting a mannequin on the field or playing with 8. As a fan this has been miserable to watch.

  5. miguelcairo - May 28, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    That’s a rich sub-.200 hitter. Damn.

  6. paperlions - May 28, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    • yahmule - May 28, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      I’m wondering if this guy ever walked up to home plate without hearing someone shout this?

      • paperlions - May 28, 2014 at 1:37 PM

        I only posted it because I won’t be able to get that out of my head for the rest of the day now and I didn’t want to be the only one. It was either that….or the Seinfeld clip.

  7. mzim2756 - May 28, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Says a lot about their pitching that they finished first last year and are first again this year with regulars like Uggla, B. Upton and Heyward (one of the most overrated in all ofMLB) or the NL East is just terrible

    • paperlions - May 28, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      Heyward finished last year with a slash line of .254/.349/.427, good for a wRC+ of 120 to go with plus defense in RF.

      Games after May count too, and Heyward was fantastic the last 4 months of 2013, and he has a 117 wRC+ for his career. With his excellent defense, he’s 3rd in WAR among RF since he came up in 2010.

    • renaado - May 28, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      The Oakland A’s had reclaim the lowest era team stat in the MLB based on that category at 2.88 while the Braves currently stands at 2.95.

  8. yankeessuckameanone - May 28, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Can someone explain why high paid players will still start even if they aren’t producing. And a rookie who isn’t producing is benched or sent to the minors. Bench the high paid player, because it’s not like you’re losing anything by him not being on the field.

    • paperlions - May 28, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      This is why: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/03/25/the-sunk-cost-fallacy/

      • renaado - May 28, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        After readin this… My interest in farmville is finally kickin in, once again.

      • djkilla - May 28, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        paperlions…I have a degree in finance and probably gained more info from that article then most of my economics classes. Thanks for the read..I will definitely give the Mcraney books a shot too!

      • mcbeet - May 28, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        check out his podcast, too, DJ. it’s good.

  9. mirafrmtx48 - May 28, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Reblogged this on My Baseball Blog.

  10. deathmonkey41 - May 28, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    This is why NFL owners have it right by not fully guaranteeing contracts. If all that money were hanging in the balance, Uggs might reconsider his awful approach at the plate, but he’s getting paid the same amount whether he bats .400 or strikes out every time he’s up there.

  11. realgone2 - May 28, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Hopefully now the sad pathetic tale of Dan Uggla can conclude. Strangely BJ has be hitting pretty well the last couple of weeks.

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