There are a lot of things to like about Dan Uggla, second baseman for the Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately there are a lot of negative things about his 2013 performance that just cannot be ignored by Fredi Gonzalez and the coaching staff. Though he did have over 20 home runs, there were just way too many strikeouts and way too many at-bats in a row where nothing happened to help the team. There is an article on the Braves official site that suggests Uggla could sit out the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He should sit it out for the good of himself and the team.
Who is to say exactly why Uggla is struggling so much this season? Does it really matter? I don’t believe it does. After all, he either hits or he doesn’t. He hasn’t hit for more than a week or so at a time. The Braves have an option that is better in Elliot Johnson at second. Johnson isn’t going to hit four homers in each game but he will at least put the bat on the ball. The fact is that the Braves will probably want to carry three catchers: Brian McCann, Gerald Laird and rookie Evan Gattis as the left fielder.
Considering those things, there is little reason to include Uggla on the roster as there is little chance that the Braves will trust him in a key pinch-hitting spot late in the game. That is why it will be best for the Braves but it also will be best for Uggla. After all, what better way to motivate one of the team’s best players for the 2014 season than to be forced to bench him during the playoffs? Uggla has to find something that will improve his hitting over the off-season and this is the best way to urge him to do so.