The struggling Dan Uggla has started just five out of the last nine games at second base for the Braves and Mark Bowman of MLB.com hears that the club will continue to look at alternatives at the position.
While the Braves “have moved away from the thought” of releasing Uggla, they are expected to give playing time to Ramiro Pena and Tyler Pastornicky in the next couple of weeks. From there, they could promote prospect infielder Tommy La Stella, who is hitting .306/.368/.333 with a 9/12 K/BB ratio over 30 games at Triple-A Gwinnett. Interestingly, Bowman writes that some of the team’s veteran players would rather see Pastornicky get a chance to run away with the job.
Uggla is batting just .180/.297/.345 over 164 games since the start of last season and is still owed $24 million through the end of 2015. The Braves apparently aren’t comfortable with eating his remaining salary in order to turn the page, but something might have to give soon.
The Braves announced that they have claimed infielder Elliot Johnson off release waivers from the Royals.
Dan Uggla goes out for eye surgery, Tyler Pastornicky goes down with a torn ACL. Heck, a few minutes ago Paul Janish tried to lay down a squeeze bunt with two strikes on him and helped kill a rally, so as far as I’m concerned every Braves infielder not named Simmons nor Freeman can take a hike. So this doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it might otherwise.
Not that it helps them beyond supplying a warm body. He hit a mere .179/.218/.241 over 79 games this season and really doesn’t have much defensive value either. Rosters expand in ten days or so, so it’s not like keeping him on the roster will cause too many problems.
Having lost Dan Uggla to eye surgery and Tyler Pastornicky to a torn ACL, the Braves are now prowling the waiver wire for a second baseman as they prepare for the post-season. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted this earlier:
Uggla was having the worst season of his career before he opted to have LASIK surgery, holding a .696 OPS and -0.4 WAR according to Baseball Reference. Pastornicky has not played much this season and was in the second game of his most recent stint in the big leagues before suffering the torn ACL.
Second base is not a position of excess, especially after the Phillies recently locked up Chase Utley for another two years, and the Royals acquired Jamey Carroll and Emilio Bonifacio. The Rays recently released Ryan Roberts, so he could be one option. In the meantime, the Braves have called up Phil Gosselin and put Paul Janish in the lineup at second base tonight.