Uggla’s been flashing the glove at second

In his first 10 games as a Brave, fans have seen second baseman Dan Uggla tumble into shallow center field making an over-the-shoulder catch.

He’s barehanded a throw from a slipping Alex Gonzalez to complete a double play, and that was the second-most exciting double play they’ve completed this week, after the one in Milwaukee.

In Saturday’s game, Uggla snuffed out a grounder he had no business gloving to take a hit away from the Phillies’ Wilson Valdez.

Not bad for a player who was greeted by questions about his defense upon his arrival in November. A lot of that had to do with a reputation Uggla got from the 2008 All-Star when he committed three errors in the national spotlight.

“I’ve been answering questions like that ever since the All-Star game,” said Uggla, who said the defensive doubts haven’t provided any extra motivation. “That’s just the way it is.”

Uggla had the second-most errors among all second basemen over the past two seasons with 34. But Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez who had managed him in Florida for 3 ½ years said a lot of those errors came from making the extra effort to even get to balls. Effort is what Gonzalez was happiest about on that play to Valdez.

“He never gave up on that ball,” Gonzalez said. “It just happened he dove for it, and the ball came up at the same time and bam, got it. I think Valdez was shocked. It looked like he was trying to make a turn, like base hit, then bang he throws him out….”

“That play going the other way in the hole with Jimmy Rollins running, he’ll give you that same effort. He may not throw Jimmy Rollins out or Jose Reyes, but the effort the fans are going to appreciate from him.”

Ironically, it’s been Uggla’s offense that’s been slow to take. He was hitting .176 (6-for-34) entering the game Sunday.

“I think he’s playing with a mentality right now if he’s not going to get a hit, nobody else is going to get one either,” Gonzalez said.

45 comments Add your comment

In Fredi I Trust

April 10th, 2011
3:47 pm

Well then he is at least doing something because he sure ain’t swinging the bat. Fielding your position sure doesn’t warrant a 5 year 60+ million deal.

BTW, the Phillies are showing exactly why they are the best team in this division. While Freeman is hacking at every pitch he sees, the Phillies just go out and score runs. I feel bad for Lowe, this loss is on this poor excuse of a offense.

X-factor

April 10th, 2011
3:47 pm

ugaman

April 10th, 2011
3:48 pm

Flashing the glove, forgetting the bat.

X-factor

April 10th, 2011
3:49 pm

still pretty early, hes got over 145 more games to prove his worth at the plate. Freeman too. Have patience its a long season.

In Fredi I Trust

April 10th, 2011
3:51 pm

By the time the trade deadline comes around, the Braves will be so far behind the Phillies it won’t even be worth watching this team the rest of the season. Shame on me for believing the hype. This is the same exact team they have been for the past 5 years. Average at best.

X-factor

April 10th, 2011
3:59 pm

good positive input IFIT. I hope you’re not on these blogs in september when the braves are in first place

In the Crapper

April 10th, 2011
4:00 pm

Enter your comments here

Tbraves

April 10th, 2011
4:00 pm

Maybe he should get Francouers or Andruws jersey number

Hack and Miss Uggla! 0fer this series…just what we got him for

ugaman

April 10th, 2011
4:01 pm

This game couldn’t have ended more perfectly. Another Uggla K. Shocker.

In the Crapper

April 10th, 2011
4:01 pm

Sorry about that….by the way, does anyone know what a bat is for…the Braves need somebody to tell ‘em ’cause they certainly don’t know!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brava

April 10th, 2011
4:22 pm

Danny has been very impressive in the infield, not that I expected the dismal performance that many were predicting. I have to say, though, he’s been better than expected.

Thing is, he has to get that bat going. I really feel he can be the catalyst that ignites the offense if he will start hitting. He needs to step up and pick this team up like we all know he can.

Larry

April 10th, 2011
4:29 pm

7th inning, two outs, down 2 runs, man 1st and 2nd after McLouth just drew a walk. So what does Chipper do> Does he see if Hamels is still a little wild or cautious? Does he wait for HIS pitch?

No.

As he has done repeatedly this season, he swings at the very first pitch–except this time at a curve ball at his ankles–and ends the inning. And some of you think Chipper is a #3 hitter! LOL!

Were it not for the misplayed ball by Victorino that the score keeper generously gave Chipper a double this team would be looking at a 6 game losing streak.

HAL

April 10th, 2011
4:34 pm

maybe if idiot gono had a real hitter hitting after uggla instead of the great pretender hed actually get a pitch to hit

NoThrow

April 10th, 2011
4:57 pm

Still cant wait to see McLouth make a throw from the outfield better than a 4 year old Maybe that shot in shoulder in spring training might indicate a problem in the shoulder Forget the hair hilitrs nate concentrate on earning that salary

AZBravoFan

April 10th, 2011
4:57 pm

Wow you guys are all going to have ulcers by the end of the month at this rate. Uggla warned us he was a slow starter. Freeman has started slow at every new level of pro ball. Pitchers almost always have the early advantage. 3 of our 6 losses have been to guys that will probably be in the CY Young race. PLENTY of time still …

reckingball

April 10th, 2011
5:18 pm

What a bunch of belly-aching whiners.

old dawg fan

April 10th, 2011
5:23 pm

There are 500 as good or better “defensive” players in Triple A. If they can’t hit then they don’t make it. Uggla was 0 for 11 versus the Phillies. Typical Trade for the Braves-great offensive until they get they get them-then they tank. Uggla won’t hit 15 homers this year. A shame.

Phillyrotation

April 10th, 2011
5:53 pm

We had a GREAT time pitching to you guys . . . thanks for helping us by all your WILD SWINGS. It helped cool the temp by fanning the air. The easy outs 2 through 5 . . . see ya in Philly SOON we hope!

Phillyrotation

April 10th, 2011
6:04 pm

Victorino 2 Braves 0

E-6

April 10th, 2011
6:06 pm

Old Dawg – your comment on trades for offense spot on. Last time we did it, we traded virtually our entire farm system for a first baseman who was terrific in 11-2 games not so in 5-4 affairs. Beginning to wonder of Uggla is one of those guys who kills when his team is 12 games out but wilts when it counts. Sincerely hope I’m wrong.

Bob the Blogger

April 10th, 2011
7:04 pm

On the Fox telecast Saturday, one of the announcers said that McLouth had an “excellent arm”.

NoThrow

April 10th, 2011
8:00 pm

Hea Bob Guess he meant excellent arm to put the high liters in his hair !! Surely not to throw a baseball

Braves Fan

April 10th, 2011
8:07 pm

I sure hope this isn’t another McLough deal.

Mark (another one)

April 10th, 2011
8:25 pm

Let’s see. The Braves have played three series and ten games. Glad most of you aren’t on our side. Go Braves!!!

Phillyrotation

April 10th, 2011
11:03 pm

Hey LP, can you please hold batting practice before and after every game? Seems after they score 10-11 runs in one game, they seem to think it’s automatic and then go 0-for 10 or 12. Watched closely at their approach and what do I see??? They step into the box and shut their eyes and swing as hard as they can–just in case they make contact. How many times have I seen batters with 3-0, 3-1 counts swing at everything, even if they are in the dirt and strike out . . . pitiful, pitiful.

JD

April 10th, 2011
11:34 pm

i’m willing to cut the Braves some slack but Phillyrotation is spot on with the batting issues. What was LJ thinking after watching Hamels walk the batter right in front of him?? That pitch wasn’t even close and he went after it – resulting in that weak a** grounder to second. I can understand FF making that swing, he looked like crap all weekend – but Chipper?

Plate discipline is what its all about at this level gentlemen. Being smart up there is two-thirds of the battle, good pitch selection is the rest. LP shouldn’t be having these issues, especially in the middle of the lineup.

Lame play this weekend, except for the starting pitching. I don’t mind getting my butt beat but just giving the game to them is not what this team should be about.

Yepp

April 11th, 2011
8:06 am

If dude doesn’t start taking a level cut and quit popping the ball up to short, I’m gonna have to knock that chaw out of his mouth.

Walker, Texas Ranger

April 11th, 2011
8:09 am

It is the first week of the season. Glove will be back to normal in no time.

Fred

April 11th, 2011
9:04 am

While I am glad Uggla has been playing good defense I cannot say the same about the rest of the Braves! Five errors in ten games! At this pace they will surpass last year! While I know not all of these errors led to runs they DO extend innings and (as yesterday) allow opponents to pad their lead. No hitting and error-prone defense – not a receipe for post season play.

just sayin'

April 11th, 2011
9:43 am

has anybody else noticed that almost every time a batter has the ‘brand’ of the bat turned towards the pitcher, the bat shatters when the batter hits the ball hard…i was always taught to keep the brand ‘up’..hit with the grain…not against it..guess they don’t teach that anymore….

Ricky Bobby

April 11th, 2011
9:48 am

Freddie freeman swung at the first pitch with the bases loaded to ground out to second. Kid needs to have a little more patience and wait for a pitch he can do something with. Is it me or do the braves always wait to make a little noise when there is two outs? None the less, I like what i’ve see so far. We have went up against some good pitching this past week and now with a day off they can rest and get back out there to do some fishing tuesday.

Yep

April 11th, 2011
9:50 am

Still glad we got Uggla. Not sure about Fredi yet.
His lineup is not working and doesnt look like hes willing to shake it up.

Pelu Maad

April 11th, 2011
10:20 am

“…and his name is DAN UGGLA!”. Relax Atlanta…Uggla sometimes runs hot and cold, but he’ll be OK. There’s always some fool who thinks he can throw a fast ball by him…Oh yeah, and try not to over -react when after a few nice defensive plays he boots a routine one.

Keith

April 11th, 2011
1:20 pm

KNEE-jerk sportswrites….

No wonder there are knee-jerk baseball fans…

You give them plenty of reason to be.

I mean Bradley writes about fans that are saying the Braves stink….and you’re talking about the misjudged perceptions. We are what….10 games in?

We don’t know the answer to your blog or Bradley’s blog…until at least June.

GO BRAVES! :)

ramblingman

April 11th, 2011
1:54 pm

Gee, if only there had been rational voices during the off season who assured all the whiners that Uggla’s defense that it is not as bad as they thought it was. Oh, wait, there was.

If only there had been evidence presented that a huge majority of Uggla’s errors were due to the fielding surface in Miami. Oh wait, there was,

If only there are people who support the Braves and Uggla, instead of whining and revealing that they are not actually fans. Oh wait, there are.

Go Braves. You still have fans out here who support you. Forget the non-fans and the bandwagon jumpers.

Joshua

April 11th, 2011
3:38 pm

I laugh at people who form conclusions after 10 games. Seriously, you people are funny.

Joshua

April 11th, 2011
3:41 pm

Why don’t all of you doubters do us a favor and don’t come on this board posting under new aliases – how about you use your normal name, so that we can see what a tool you really are. Don’t be a coward, put your opinion out there so we can laugh at your stupidity later.

ramblingman

April 11th, 2011
3:54 pm

They don’t have the cojones….or the smarts

NickB

April 11th, 2011
3:55 pm

DOB I want you to write down the names of all the debby downers who are predicting the end is nigh. I want you then to come back in September and make them beg to not get banned. For those of you who speak this way you aren’t baseball fans you are whiny babies. Go root for the Yankees I don’t want you pulling for my team….spoiled rotten little inhuman wastes of human

JT

April 11th, 2011
4:53 pm

Didn’t Uggla say, even before Spring Training, that he was a slow starter with the bat? He’s been in the league long enough to know how he typically starts a season- and this is exactly that slow start he told everyone he’d have.
I’m amused by the reactions after 10 games- it’s a long season, folks.

joja boi

April 11th, 2011
6:45 pm

Its really early. Some of you cats are the reason I hate sports blogs. A little bit of “hick”up and its time to have the tonsils removed. Put your skirts back down and support the team. The Braves had a rough stretch to start the season, including Spring.. Give them a little time to get there legs under them and all should be more than fine!

Heather

April 11th, 2011
8:53 pm

I am shocked by Uggla’s good defense…but I still think it is a waste of Prado’s stellar defense to have him in left field.

M10

April 11th, 2011
10:07 pm

That’s the only thing he’s doing.lol

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

April 11th, 2011
11:06 pm

I hate mondays that are off days. . ..

Observer

April 12th, 2011
1:16 pm

It’s time to fire Terry Pendleton! He must be the reason the Braves can”t hit!… not the hitting coach? Doesn’t matter, we know its his fault!

Add your comment