David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Dan Uggla is back in the Braves’ lineup this afternoon against the Reds. He declared himself good to go after testing his left calf by running earlier this afternoon.
Uggla was out of the lineup for the second straight game last night, but he smacked a pinch-hit, two-run homer off right-hander Nick Masset in the top of the ninth to lead the Braves to a 6-4 victory.
Uggla is batting .348 with six homers and 11 RBI during his current career-high 13-game hitting streak. While he’s still batting just .195 on the season, his 18 home runs are second among major-league second basemen. Rickie Weeks is first with 19 homers.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.