If this keeps up, Dan Uggla may become the Atlanta Braves' highest paid bench player. In a 17-10 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in which nine Braves recorded hits and six players had multiple hits, Uggla was saddled with an 0-for-4 line with two strikeouts.
Granted, Kris Medlen had an ugly outing of nine runs on 14 hits in five innings, but he still got the win and he even picked up two hits. It's also worth noting that an outing of that caliber is out of the norm for Medlen.
But for Uggla, it's just a continuation of what has become his standard. The latest 0-4 outing at the plate puts Uggla's batting average in Grapefruit League play this year at just .182. In his 55 at-bats this Spring, he has 19 strikeouts. Also of notice, he has three walks but has committed five errors.
Even while Justin Upton was busy driving in six runs for the Bravos, Uggla was chasing pitches below his knees, which he has become more apt at doing the last couple of years. Juan Francisco even has three homers in four games, and he and/or Chris Johnson is expected to hit behind Uggla?
The Braves would be amiss if they didn't give Tyler Pastornicky a serious look. In his 48 at-bats, Pastornicky has hit a ridiculous .396 while picking up 11 RBIs. His defensive skills may not be all that hot, but on the other hand, neither are Uggla's.
Ramiro Pena, though known less for his offense, has even batted a respectable .273 average in considerably less action, but his defensive range may make him a more viable option for the simple fact that he'll get on base on occasion and make sure the other team stays off base.
Whatever the Braves do, they can't afford Uggla to start him at second base right how due to how he's been playing, and they can't afford to pay him to ride the pine. It looks like three more years of garbage play from the most enigmatic second baseman in the majors.
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