Braves second baseman Dan Uggla has struggled with vision problems for much of this season and he’s finally decided to undergo Lasik eye surgery.
He’s headed to the disabled list and to replace Uggla on the roster Atlanta recalled Tyler Pastornicky from Triple-A, where he was hitting .292 with four homers and a .747 OPS in 74 games. Pastornicky saw extensive action for the Braves last year and got into 18 games for them earlier this season.
Uggla has hit .186 with a league-high 146 strikeouts, including a .133 batting average and 30 strikeouts in 24 games since the All-Star break. Lasik surgery tends to involve an almost immediate recovery, although Uggla’s job requires more from his eyes than most. Presumably he’ll be back in the minimum 15 days. Mark Bowman of MLB.com writes that the Braves wanted Uggla to have the surgery back in spring training.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.