UPDATE: Not only is Uggla on the Opening Day roster, he’s starting at second base and batting seventh.
Dan Uggla, who’s being paid $13 million by the Braves not to play for them this season and was also released by the Giants after just four games last year, has resurrected his career enough to make the Nationals’ Opening Day roster.
Uggla hit .149 in 52 games last season and .179 in 136 games two years ago, but the Nationals chose the 35-year-old former All-Star to fill a bench role with third baseman Anthony Rendon on the disabled list.
He signed with Washington on a minor-league deal in December and then posted an .890 OPS in spring training to convince the team he’s back to being a potentially useful player. It’ll be a helluva comeback if he can stick around in the majors once Rendon returns.
The Rockies fell 9-6 to the Orioles on Saturday, but the loss wasn’t without its bright spots. Case in point: Third baseman Nolan Arenado passed a significant career milestone on an Andrew Cashner fastball in the third inning, slugging the ball a projected 394 feet into the left field stands for his 200th career home run.
Arenado is the 34th active player to join the 200+ homer club and the first to do so since the Braves’ Freddie Freeman crossed that threshold on May 19. The three-run shot was the infielder’s 14th of the season and third since Friday, when he went deep twice against Orioles rookie John Means and reliever Shawn Armstrong. Following Saturday’s performance, he’s batting a robust .333/.377/.632 with 30 extra-base hits, 42 RBI, and a 1.009 OPS through 220 plate appearances.
He isn’t the only Rockies slugger making history, either. Arenado’s feat trailed that of Trevor Story, who clobbered an 0-2 pitch from Armstrong during the seventh inning of Friday’s 8-6 win. The two-run blast was his 100th home run in 448 career games, making him the fastest shortstop to reach the mark in MLB history.
The Rockies will vie for the series win as they round out the series on Sunday, with right-hander German Márquez scheduled to take the bump against fellow righty David Hess at 3:10 PM EDT.