Dan Uggla has been benched by Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez after hitting .152 in 74 games since June 6, which is remarkably awful production for a remarkably long time.
However, during that three-month stretch Uggla didn’t even have the lowest OPS in baseball. In fact, among hitters with at least 200 plate appearance since June 6 he doesn’t have one of the 10 worst OPS totals:
Justin Smoak .465
Josh Thole .506
Rafael Furcal .551
Jeff Francoeur .553
J.J. Hardy .564
Daniel Descalso .574
Brian Bogusevic .575
Jemile Weeks .576
Gregor Blanco .578
Clint Barmes .579
Brian Dozier .579
DAN UGGLA .580
Some pretty big–or at least recognizable–names on that list, although one key difference with Uggla is that a) he’s also a poor defender at second base, and b) he’s making $13 million while being owed another $39 million for the next three seasons.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.