Second base has been an offensive pit for the San Francisco Giants throughout the 2014 MLB season, but plugging their inherent black hole with recently released infielder Dan Uggla isn’t a clear-cut solution for a glaring problem. According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea, the Giants are reportedly interested in bringing in the three-time All-Star in a desperate attempt to revamp offensive production from the right side of the infield.
Uggla, a career .244 hitter, struggled to mount any kind of consistent production while with the Atlanta Braves this season. Uggla had previously conceded his starting gig, posting numbers that rival those belonging to Brandon Hicks, who the Giants designated for assignment to make room for veteran Marco Scutaro on the active roster before the All-Star break.
The Giants are unsure if Scutaro will be able to stay healthy enough to legitimately contribute to the club down the stretch, but remain optimistic the 2012 NLCS MVP can help the team win. Scutaro’s mere presence in the clubhouse has seemingly sparked the Giants’ offense. San Francisco has scored more than eight runs in its past two contests, a feat they accomplished just once during the first half of the season.
General manager Brian Sabean has a knack for pulling the right strings to gear his team for a run at October glory, but adding Uggla to an already meager middle infield isn’t a solution. The statistical similarities between Hicks and Uggla are uncanny. Hicks, a journeyman, saw the most big-league action of his career this season, posting an inefficient .162 batting average with eight home runs and 22 RBIs in 204 official at-bats. He also registered an unacceptably poor .280 on-base percentage with a whopping 77 strikeouts.
Uggla owns the exact same average as Hicks (.162) in 74 fewer at-bats (130). The Braves’ former All-Star managed to hit just two home runs while driving in 10 runs in limited playing time this season. Uggla also struck out 40 times, accounting for nearly 37 percent of his outs. To compare, Hicks’ strikeout total accounted for 45 percent of his outs made.
The Giants are in a position to win the NL West for the third time in five seasons and potentially make a run at yet another World Series title. The Braves virtually ousted Uggla from their active roster months ago for good reason: he’s simply not a productive hitter. While the current platoon of Ehire Adrianza, Joe Panik and Marco Scutaro is severely less than ideal, Uggla won’t provide the type of consistency the Giants need from a true everyday second baseman. His numbers prove it.