Atlanta Braves’ Slugger Dan Uggla Still Can’t Hit

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Uggla left the Atlanta Braves‘ lineup in mid-August when he decided it was a good time to get LASIK eye surgery to treat astigmatism he developed over the last year or so. When he left, Uggla had put up a .186 batting average over the season which, while it’s an outrageously low BA, his on-base percentage was still plenty high. With a .307 OBP, Uggla surprisingly had been providing some sort of production with his high rate of walking. Possibly more interesting was the fact that despite his grossly unacceptable BA, Uggla had hit 21 home runs which put him among the top second basemen with so many.

When he left I had hopes of him returning to greatness with his new and improved vision, though I reserved my feelings in case he ended up disappointing us all, as he had over the past few years in Atlanta. I looked at his numbers from when he played for the Florida Marlins and you wouldn’t believe Uggla used to bat .280 and hit over 30 home runs. I thought maybe, just maybe Uggla could return to his glory days that earned him a $13 million per year contract with the Braves.

Uggla has played 10 games since he returned on Aug. 28. Since his return he’s posted a much worse than hoped for .143 BA with no home runs. In 28 at-bats he’s only gotten four hits. The interesting thing, though, is his OBP which has been .368 since his return to the lineup. Though he still can’t hit, Uggla continues to find a way to be productive for the Braves. Despite his low BA, his decent OBP this season has provided the Braves with 59 runs and 53 RBI. Braves fans might want to accept that Uggla will never hit for average again, but they should recognize that despite the poor appearance of his statistics, he’s been more productive than he’s given credit for.

Adam Krentz is an Atlanta Braves writer for Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.

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  • Veritas__Aequitas

    What a shame – Uggla is like having a corvette that doesn’t run. Uggla is really expensive, but can’t get a hit.

    I doubt Uggla had any kind of “surgery” to correct a vision problem. Or he still isn’t able to see clearly.

    A much more plausible explanation is that Uggla has poor decision making when it comes to hitting. His swinging at a pitch that starts in the zone and curves way outside is a prime example of this. It’s like his weakness and all the opposing pictures use the tactic and fan him pretty much all the time.

    At $13,000,000 a year, Uggla should be putting up numbers like Chipper Jones, but he’s not and the Brave fans are sick of his inability to hit and seemingly deficit to the team.

    Frank Wren better get rid of Uggla or the fans are going to start booing Uggla when he comes to the plate.

    Uggla adds nothing to the team – a fan from the stands could perform as well. A overwhelming majority of minor league players could out hit Uggla and at the league minimum!

    Frank, what are you thinking?

  • cccfree

    Not that the surgery had anything to do with it; I wouldn’t blame LASIK, I work for the San Diego LASIK Center and a bunch of athletes come in to get their eyes done and don’t have anything but good to say about it.