Uggla was hitting .130 with 12 strikeouts in 23 at-bats on March 5 in a continuation of his dreadful 2012 season in which he hit .220, including a two-month stretch from late June to early September where he hit .164. Braves hitting coach Greg Walker saw his early Grapefruit League struggles as an opportunity to rectify some embedded mistakes.
"I'm glad it happened, because what we were seeing was the same thing as last year," Walker said on braves.com. "Since then, he's really attacked it hard. He's worked as hard as anybody in camp."
Uggla now has five hits with a homer in his last 12 at-bats, including a 1-for-2 performance in Sunday's loss to the Washington Nationals. Further, he's struck out "just" nine times in his last 44 at-bats. That's still not a great strikeout rate, but it's a significant improvement over what would barely pass for a pitcher's presence at the plate.
"As I've gotten older, the frustration has been easier to handle — because you know it's just a matter of time before [success] does come," Uggla said.
For reference, Uggla still has three years and $39 million left on his contract with the Braves, so a return to even a shell of his Marlins self would be welcome.
Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Dan Uggla, MLB