Uggla, Gonzalez to face former team in Marlins

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez concedes when he scans box scores every morning, the first one he checks out is the Braves’ upcoming opponent, and the second is his former Marlins.

It got simple the past few days. The Braves open a three-game series against the team he managed for 3 ½ years on Tuesday.

This series has the potential to be a little awkward for Gonzalez and Braves second baseman Dan Uggla. Gonzalez was fired by the Marlins last June, before getting hired in October to replace longtime Braves manager Bobby Cox. A few weeks later the Marlins traded Uggla to the Braves.

“It’s a situation that happens,” said Gonzalez, who was born in Cuba and raised in Miami, where he lived for 40 years of his life. “There’re no really hard feelings. Go forward.”

If anything, he gets a twinge of nostalgia following the progress of some of the young Marlins players who came up while he was managing, like Mike Stanton, Chris Coghlan, Gaby Sanchez, Chris Volstad and on and on.

“It seems like that first or second year we were throwing out balls every day, like first major league hit for so-and-so,” said Gonzalez, who went 276-279 as Marlins manager. “Those are things that were special. I feel like I was always handing a lineup card out.”

Now he’s using what he knows about those players to help out in scouting meetings.

“I think I’m going to get put under the gun with (pitching coach) Roger (McDowell) to see how much I know about these guys, how to pitch to them,” Gonzalez said.

The Braves faced the Marlins twice in spring training, so that lets some of the air out of this matchup. Then again, the stakes were low in March.

For Uggla, who spent five years as a middle-of-the-lineup hitter for Florida, it’ll be a chance to face his former teammates Chris Volstad, Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco, the slated Marlins starters in the series.

“You definitely want to win against your old team,” Uggla said. “They’re going to want to do the same. There’s definitely going to be a little extra energy.”

Uggla’s negotiations with the Marlins for a long-term extension broke down after he turned down a four-year $48 million offer. The Braves traded for him and signed him to a five-year $62 million extension, giving him the highest average yearly salary for any second baseman.

Uggla said his role in the Braves clubhouse has been much different than his time with the Marlins.

“It’s a lot younger team over there,” Uggla said. “I was kind of a veteran. I’m by far not a veteran over here. I’m going to guys like (Brian) McCann and (David) Ross and Chipper (Jones) for advice, the guys that have been around here. I think that’s a cool thing.”

62 comments Add your comment

Reid in EAV

April 11th, 2011
5:42 pm

First? Nah, I actually took time to read the blog. Hope our bats get well against the Fish.

Mark (another one)

April 11th, 2011
5:58 pm

It would be nice to see some hitting but I like the aggresiveness and hussle. I believe it will pay off over the long haul. In the past the Braves have struggled against pitchers they have never seen. Has anyone analyzed the impact of familiarity and who it favors, pitcher or hitter?

Bobby's Cox'N'Balls

April 11th, 2011
6:01 pm

I like Uggla. Not worried about his bat at all. Fredi on the other hand…….

SHAKE THE LINEUP UP!!
Bat Nate leadoff. Hes killing rallies out of the 2 hole and is too pull happy to hit there. At least at the top of the order it gives him a chance to steal a few bags and opens holes for Prado who will almost certainly put the ball in play. Nate hits the ball on the ground too much to hit in the 2 hole. If he makes an out, youve got Prado and Chipper right behind him. Two guys who put the ball in play and will get their hits for Mac and Uggs to drive them in. Either bat Nate leadoff and see how it happens or put Matt Young up there.

GT81

April 11th, 2011
6:03 pm

these are games we are supposed to win, at least most of them throughout the season

DS88

April 11th, 2011
6:34 pm

I agree that Nate should be batting leadoff. If they are going to leave him in the two hole then I would like to see him dropping a sacrifice bunt down every now and then when Prado leads off with a single… I definitely don’t think Nate should be axed from the lineup altogether in favor of Matt Young though… Nate seems more confident this year and has been taking nice swings.

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

April 11th, 2011
8:04 pm

I hate off days, especially after a loss.

M10

April 11th, 2011
9:07 pm

Gonzalez needs to move Heyward up it’s plain and simple.

Heisenberg

April 11th, 2011
10:37 pm

Prado looks real good in LF. I would bet he could play CF also if a big bat were available that plays corner OF. There really is not anywhere else in the lineup except CF to make an impact move. Could always have Matt Young for late inning defensive replacement.

Guru

April 12th, 2011
12:01 am

1 McClouth
2 Prado
3 Jones
4 McCann
5 Heyward
6 Uggla
7 Gonzalez
8 Freeman
9 Pitcher du jour

Freddie G

April 12th, 2011
1:52 am

It is so ridiculous that people are on here calling for lineup change after ten games. How idiotic.

ramblingman

April 12th, 2011
7:38 am

“Gonzalez needs to move Heyward up it’s plain and simple.”

People need to quit thinking they know more than the manager. Plain and simple.

ramblingman

April 12th, 2011
7:39 am

Actually, plain and simple describes so many of the posters on here, especially the ones who are constantly bashing the Braves and revealing they are not true fans.

Go Braves

Billy Marlin

April 12th, 2011
8:39 am

Hanson will get racked again tonight and the Braves will score 1 run. He’s lost the velocity he had 2 years ago.

Marlins 7

Braves 1

ramblingman

April 12th, 2011
9:27 am

you mind if they actually go ahead and play the game, billy?

Braves Fan Since "80

April 12th, 2011
9:35 am

Thank god we could be the Astros, Cardinals, or Sox….. TP for Batting Coach and BC out of retirement…. really kidding, after 10 games you would like to be on the better side of 500. About lineup changes it is time to start planning your next move……. Nobody is asking for a promotion at this point, only Gonzales is playing better than expected….. I look for Freeman to heat up and Prado to play about the same until later before he goes on a tear. Next week will be decision time

Trainwreck

April 12th, 2011
9:54 am

Marlins have some good pitching coming up… really hoping bats find a way to produce.

Braves Fan For Life

April 12th, 2011
10:04 am

We willbe fine and win our fair share. Hurts to say this but at same time, we have to get to hitting now! Our pitchingis doing their part! I never want to hear again : he is one of thebest pitchers in the game, or we just ran into a buzz saw. This is said about every pticher that beats us and by years end we could lose 50 plus times to one of the best pitchers in the game. Sometimes it isnt how good they were, sometimes it is how bad we were.

Braves Fan For Life

April 12th, 2011
10:09 am

I also wish the whole team had the approach at the plate Chip, Prado, and Mccann has. You are allowed to hit it where it is pitched and chip away runs. Not everytime do you have to crush it to score. I again can not say enough about how good our staff is pitching, JJ should only help too.

steve whitmire

April 12th, 2011
10:33 am

I’M NOT A BRAVES BASHER, I’m a lifelong Braves fan, but I agree with the posters who say shake up the lineup. Mark Bradley said in his column yesterday don’t worry it’ll all be fine just have faith in the Braves. No. Shake things up, move Nate to the one spot or down to number 8, put Hinske at first, put someone else in the leadoff spot, try different things with the order, put in different players until we start to hit, sitting around going everything will be great don’t make waves be cool, no no no, try something different while the season is still young, we have a new manager he doesn’t need to go all Bobby Cox on us

Fols

April 12th, 2011
10:46 am

I don’t mind the call to move Nate and Prado but I don’t want to see heyward moved until he starts coming through in clutch situations a LITTLE more often. He’s had a few big chances from his current spot and he’s popping out.

Marlins are in town, we need to get back on track!

Bobby Cox

April 12th, 2011
10:47 am

Sherrill? Linebrink? Man, those guys can flat out pitch ! Should one of them get hurt Scott Proctor could step in. He reminds me a lot of Chris Reitsma. That’s saying a lot.

Fredi has a lot to work with.

Reid in EAV

April 12th, 2011
10:57 am

Agree that it’s too early to shake up the lineup, but it’s not too early to at least be thinking about it. As I recall, after the abysmal April we had last year, things really didn’t start to click until we put Prado into the leadoff slot. Then he went on a tear against the Brewers and the team followed behind him.

So we stand pat this week, see if we can get it going against the Fish and if the lineup isn’t working as currently constituted, I trust Fredi to make the right move. Key players: McLouth, Prado, Uggla, Freeman — and Chipper to add some power to his OBP. The pitching has been good enough, though I’d really be cheered by a strong outing from Big Red tonight.

Why

April 12th, 2011
10:59 am

Actually, plain and simple describes so many of the posters like rambling man who believe that a true fan must not express their thoughts and concerns about the team they love. Sorry rambler but they are just as much a true fan as you represent yourself to be. Now go play in the street and leave the baseball talk to the real fans.

Reid in EAV

April 12th, 2011
10:59 am

Oh, and when I say “good enough” I’m not generally referring to middle relief. Sherrill and Linebrink are wearing out their welcomes rapidly, and we have strong arms on the farm (Marek, et. al.) to replace them, so no need to let that drag out without visible improvement. Typically your LOOGY should actually get out the lefty he’s brought in to face, and definitely not walk people. Eh Georgie?

Bob Horner's Blonde Mullet

April 12th, 2011
11:10 am

Bobby – you’re right skipper — Proctor looks a lot like Reitsma. And Linebrink is looking more and more like Kyle Farnsworth. I tell ya, these guys have great stuff.

Phillie Phanatic

April 12th, 2011
11:15 am

“Rambling Man” is a shill for Braves’ management who he believes can do no wrong. He’s content with those “division championships”. If Bobby Cox had been in Philly, NY or Boston they’s have run his butt out of town years ago for mismanaging talent instead of retiring his number or building him a statue.

The Braves’ teams from 1991-1996 should have won 3-4 World Series instead of the one.

Real fans want better for their team, and aren’t willing to accept the level of play they’be become accustomed to, or what is tolerated.

If Atlanta had any critical sports media instead of the homer crowd, heads would have rolled a long time ago.

Bobby Cox

April 12th, 2011
11:17 am

Bob Horner’s Blonde Mullet,

Proctor looked good in the simulated games. Don’t understand why he’s not on the roster.

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

Chop101

April 12th, 2011
11:44 am

Tommy Hanson needs to have a strong outing tonight. While the Braves will be facing some tough pitching, their lineup is due to bust out at any time. As for the lineup, it may be a refreshing change of pace to see Nate bat leadoff. I pull for Nate, but he puts me on edge every time he bats with runners on base. The threat of that ill timed, rally crushing double play is always high. Maybe all that is needed is a little more time to see how things even out.

Pelu Maad

April 12th, 2011
11:54 am

Hanley was right about Fredi…he never played in the majors. As a third base coach, he diversified the Cox staff nicely but I doubt he can adjust his Hialeah attitude enough to successfully manage a diverse team. Uggla, on the other hand, is a ballplayer. Sure he’ll have a bad day defensively occasionally but watching him hit against a guy throwing heat is classic baseball.

BFChris26

April 12th, 2011
12:07 pm

To all wrestling fans….

Edge had to retire last night due to injury. He had neck surgery years ago and after a few years of wear and tear, his neck injury has come back and caused an issue that made his hands and arms numb and trembling. Doctors won’t ever clear him to wrestle anymore.

Chop101

April 12th, 2011
12:09 pm

Phillie Phanatic,

I guess you prove your point about “real fans” given the fact that the Phillies have only managed one world series win in four playoff appearances since 2007. Could we not say that the Phillies should have one at least 2-3 world series since 2007? What was the problem with them? Bad Managment, poor player performance or just a crappy fan base that has not been able to institute any real positive change for a team with a lot of talent.

If I was a Phillie fan, then I would expect a lot more out of payroll that exceeded $141,000,000 in 2010.

Go Braves!

Phillie Phanatic

April 12th, 2011
12:40 pm

Chop101,

At least the Phillies have been to a recent World Series or two …

If the Braves had a GM that knew what he was doing, there might be another WS one day at Turner Field.

How are McLouth & Kawakami doing for you? That’s $15 million down the rat hole just this season.

You got Casey Kotchman for AllStar Mark Texeira. How’s that deal working out?

You got Jesse Chavez for Rafael Soriano. I know that’s paying big dividends (LMAO)

Chipper’s big extension is paying off for sure. Those big numbers he’s producing are overwhelming.

Sherrill & Linebrink are looking good.

How many consecutive sellouts in Philly? Can you count that high?

Crappy fan base? You must be talking Atlanta where you can’t even sell out a playoff game, after not even being in the playoffs since 2005, the year of your last meaningless “division championship”.

Phillie Phanatic

April 12th, 2011
12:42 pm

I’ll take the one World Series win in four chances better than one in 14 years, like another team I know !

Huge

April 12th, 2011
12:52 pm

I am so jealous of Philly fans. They have one Championship in the last 372 sport seasons. I wish I was from Philly.

Phillie Phanatic

April 12th, 2011
1:00 pm

and how many actual CHAMPIONSHIPS does Atlanta have?

Kelly's Johnson

April 12th, 2011
1:02 pm

Albert Pujols would look good in a Braves uniform in 2012.

If Chipper would retire & KK & McLousy will be off the books …

ramblingman

April 12th, 2011
1:05 pm

“Actually, plain and simple describes so many of the posters like rambling man who believe that a true fan must not express their thoughts and concerns about the team they love. Sorry rambler but they are just as much a true fan as you represent yourself to be.”

Sure. People who bash the Braves all day long are just as much a fan as I am. You keep repeating that. It’s one thing to “express concerns” and quite another to verbally attack the team day after day after day. There are very few here who actually express concerns, and I have not addressed those people. The idiot trolls who constantly bash and never have anything good to say about the team drew my attention. You are one of them, afraid to actually reveal your true posting name, hiding behind silly stuff like “why”.

True fans actually support the team. It’s the definition of the word. If you don’t understand that, you need to read.

Dan Uggla's ears

April 12th, 2011
1:06 pm

Philly fans are so funny !

How many consecutive divisional championships can they brag about ?

ramblingman

April 12th, 2011
1:06 pm

Steve Whitmire – I am not calling you a basher, but you seriously want to dump Freeman after 32 at bats?

Huge

April 12th, 2011
1:08 pm

Atlanta has one also. Why would I be jealous of the guy with $10 in his pocket when i also have $10 in my pocket.

By the way you guys paid Joe Blanton $10.5 million a year and he has a higher career ERA than Kawakami. You could get a scrub from Lehigh Valley (or probably Lehigh University) to do his job for the league minimum.

ramblingman

April 12th, 2011
1:09 pm

(laughs at someone called phillie phanatic attempting to define what constitutes a Braves fan)

I guess irony is not his strong suit.

ramblingman

April 12th, 2011
1:12 pm

Trolls can bite something.

Go Braves

Mark's for the Braves

April 12th, 2011
1:20 pm

Phillie Phanatic: You’ve got a little more money to spend than we do. Anyway, it’s a long season and 10 games mean nothing. We’ve still got 15 games with you, so you’d better be ready for them. We probably won’t be hitting .200 as a team when we see you again on May 6th.

Joseph

April 12th, 2011
1:26 pm

Shaking up the lineup this early is not a good idea. We haven’t even given the players a chance to get comfy where they are currently. Changing the lineup just starts the process over.

Jimmy Beam, you are my friend

April 12th, 2011
2:07 pm

Kelly’s Johnson: good to have you back hangin’ around….

Phillie Phanatic

April 12th, 2011
2:20 pm

Huge,

“You could get a scrub from Lehigh Valley (or probably Lehigh University) to do his job for the league minimum.”

Yeah, you’ll be seeing him in the next series. We’ll call him up
and he’ll shut you down like every other pitcher you’ve never faced before.

What a sorry lineup in Atlanta. Keep swinging for the fences !

Justafan

April 12th, 2011
2:31 pm

Ramblingman, I like your blogs and support for Braves and GT. You’re to smart to worry about the trolls.

Chipper

April 12th, 2011
2:38 pm

Phillie Phanatic ‘91 WORLD SERIES the greatest ever….I blame Lonnie Smith base running blunder for not winning the world series not Cox…..’92 World Series..Jeff Reardon blowed 2 saves..Cox put him in a situation to succeed and he failed…not Cox Fault. I agree ‘96 SHOULD HAVE WON….But once again Wohlers pitch to Jim L. in the 8th was the reason we didn’t win game 4 of the series to move ahead with a 3-1 series lead. Cox can’t hit nor pitch us to any Championships but he sure put the players in place to succeeed…

Conyers Braves Fan

April 12th, 2011
3:11 pm

Fans do have a right to express their opinions on these open blogs. Thank goodness that they do not have the ability to make decisions to implement the changes that some of them propose.

Kent Hrbek

April 12th, 2011
3:23 pm

Hey, Chipper.

What genius brought in an old lefty (Charlie Leibrandt), an American League veteran, to face the best righthanded hitter (Kirby Puckett)in the American League who proceeded to homer & win the game?

I think the genius wore #6 on his uniform…can’t recall his name

ramblingman

April 12th, 2011
3:52 pm

Thank you Justafan. I really don’t worry overly about trolls, I do worry that there are some who are chased off here by them.

We all know and recognize the true Braves fans.

Mikey

April 12th, 2011
4:02 pm

Why was Wohlers who was just awful even in the game? The previous 2 innings Mike Bielecki struck out the side in the 6th and retired the Yankees in the 7th. I was at the game and the fans booed as Wohlers had trouble finding the mound walking from the bullpen. Very predictable outcome!

Hrbek….nailed it dude!

Bobby Cox

April 12th, 2011
4:06 pm

I stand by my brilliant decisions !

Both Leibrandt & Wohlers were “lights out” in the pre-game warmups !

big o

April 12th, 2011
4:09 pm

Hey Phillie Phanatic Is there not a blog for Phillie Fans ? The WS yall won wont happen again anytime soon. Your roster is old dude !!! We are on our way up your window is closing. So why don’t you go home and help pressure wash some of those God Forsaken row houses that dominate your old boring ass town

Chipper

April 12th, 2011
4:15 pm

Kent you’re right..but my point was GAME 7….did you forget Smoltz and his game 7…YOU CAN MOAN THE FACT THE COX blew game 6 but you certainly can’t blame him for game 7

Chipper

April 12th, 2011
4:22 pm

I never said the moves by Cox was RIGHT but if a player is given a chance to succeed and if he fails to execute..it’s not the managers’ fault. Wohlers was not AWEFUL…He had closed out game 2 for Maddux in Yankees Stadium in a 4-0 win.

Furthermore, you else in Game 6 ‘91 Series was Cox going to put in there in extra innings…He had run through the bullpen since Avery only lasted 6 Innings.

ramblingman

April 12th, 2011
4:35 pm

don’t get sucked in by trolls into debating about games from a decade ago.

First of all, trolls can’t debate. They simply sling names when faced with logic.

Pat them on the head or kick them in the rear and send them on to Mommy.

Go Braves

Chipper

April 12th, 2011
4:37 pm

Phille Phanic..No offense but YOUR TEAM lost to a Giant Team last year that had no business in the WORLD SERIES. Phillies was a HEAVY FAVORITE last year and we ALL know what happen..HOWARD STRUCK OUT LOOKING

farmer

April 12th, 2011
7:54 pm

why is Heyward hitting 6th and Mclouth 2d? that is just stupid

farmer

April 12th, 2011
7:57 pm

Bobby Cox was a great manager no doubt. a Hall of Famer, no doubt. but he made some of his worst managerial decisions in the World Series.. we should have won at least 3 titles back in the 90’s. and those were 1991, 1995, and 1996

ramblingman

April 12th, 2011
9:22 pm

“Hanson will get racked again tonight and the Braves will score 1 run. He’s lost the velocity he had 2 years ago.

Marlins 7

Braves 1″

The above quote was brought to you courtesy of

Billy Marlin
April 12th, 2011
8:39 am

Ummm, Billy? Don’t quit the day job, bud.

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