Uggla: Increased biceps and comfort level

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Dan Uggla and his arms,  bigger than ever, entered the Braves clubhouse Tuesday reporting early for duty.

Year 2 of the Uggs Era surely cannot be stranger than the first Braves season was for the second baseman with thigh-sized biceps. He’d prefer it be steadier, and things already feel  more normal for him.

“It’s different already, a more comfortable feeling,” said Uggla, who said he no longer feels pressure to prove anything, not like last spring when he had received a five-year, $62 million contract extension before ever playing a game for the Braves.

“I already know where my place is on this team,” said Uggla, who had a career-low .233 average, but a career-high 36 homers and an Atlanta-record 33-game hitting streak. “I already know that everybody here respects me as a ballplayer, the way I go about my business. Now it’s not like trying to set the stage.”

His hitting streak that was the sixth-longest in the majors in the past three decades, and began July 5 after he hit a league-worst .173 in 86 games through Independence Day.

His average was so low when his streak began that it was still just .233 when it ended. No other player has had an average below .300 at the end of a streak as long as Uggla’s.

“He earned respect,” Braves backup catcher David Ross said. “You can’t talk about getting respect like that; you have to earn it. You go out there and you’re hitting a buck-90 or whatever he was hitting for that long, and you’re like, this guy’s in the 5-hole?

“But he always busted his tail down the line, and when he went through that hitting streak everybody was so happy for him. Those are the guys you want to be teammates with.”

As much as it pains him to say something that might be construed as excuse-making, he acknowledges pressing at the outset of the 2011 season, trying to show what he could do after being traded from the Marlins and given that large extension.

“Say what you want, when you come to a new team, whether you’ve got a big contract or not you’re going to want to impress,” he said. “You’re going to want to impress the front office, and even thought I played for Fredi [Gonzalez, Braves manager] for four years before that, I wanted to do good for him….

“This year, I just want to go out and play. I’m already a part of this team. I’m not just wearing the Braves logo. I’ve got a part in these guys’ lives.”

Gonzalez had previously managed Uggla with the Marlins.

“It’s human nature,” Gonzalez said. “You go to a new place and have a big contract, you want to do more than you’re capable of and impress. I think when he got settled in and comfortable with his surroundings, he was his normal self.”

After hitting .173 with a puny .241 on-base percentage and 11 homers in his first 86 games, Uggla hit .301 with a .386 OBP and 24 homers in his final 75 games.

During the hit streak he hit .377 with 15 homers and 32 RBIs, and the Braves went 19-14 in that span despite having most of their other top hitters in slumps.

“Once he started that hitting streak he was pretty consistent for us the rest of the way,” said Braves veteran Eric Hinske. “He still hit 36 home runs and drove in a lot of runs. The guy’s a pure power hitter and solid defensively.”

What impressed teammates more than anything was how Uggla handled the difficult stretch in the first half, when he faced constant questions about his anemic average.

Uggla was at his locker after every game to answer reporters questions, never getting terse or complaining. Teammates said he was upbeat ever day in the clubhouse, convinced he would get things turned around soon.

“It’s hard to be the same guy when you’re not doing well, and he never changed,” Hinske said.

Now Uggla is back, and the 6-foot fireplug added more muscle after a winter of heavy weightlifting with his brother at home in Franklin, Tenn. Most of the added bulk appears to be in his arms, which were already enormous.

“I just got as big and strong as I could,” he said. “I gained probably about 15 or 20 pounds, up to about 225. But I still feel athletic. I’ll probably trim it down to about 210, 215 this spring, but I really, really got after it. I didn’t take any weeks off, started working out as soon as I got home and kept it going until now. So I’m ready.”

After the Braves lost 20 of their last 30 games and blew an 8-1/2 game wild-card lead to miss the playoffs, Uggla was pleased to see so many position players report to camp early, including six of eight projected starters. Official full-squad reporting day is Friday.

“We’ve got a lot of guys with I think a chip on their shoulders this year,” he said. “Some things happened and they took it upon themselves this offseason to prepare themselves for the season. Not just for what happened in September but from an individual standpoint — they’re like, ‘I’m not going to let that happen again.’”

The only projected starters not in camp already are center fielder Michael Bourn and rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky, who is in California has previously planned to work out with veteran shortstop Jack Wilson, who has a full infield in his backyard.

Wilson will serve as a mentor to Pastornicky, and Uggla is eager to work with his new double-play partner when full-squad workouts begin Saturday. Gonzalez said he plans to have Uggla and Pastornicky always be in the lineup together in Grapefruit League games,  so they’ll have a maximum amount of chances to get comfortable.

“He’s a great kid,” Uggla said. “I got to know him last year in spring. He works hard. He’s ready. Having a guy like Jack around is going to make him that much better. The only other guy who might be able to pick it a hair better than Jack is Gonzo [former Braves shortstop Alex Gonzalez, whom Pastornicky is to replace].

“I’m really glad that we signed Jack [to come] back. If we can’t have Gonzo, then Jack’s a good second choice.”

126 comments Add your comment

Weaseal

February 21st, 2012
7:56 pm

Let’s Go Braves !!!!

Weaseal

February 21st, 2012
7:57 pm

Time the crash this Dark Star …

Popeye

February 21st, 2012
8:01 pm

Uggla is a beast. What’s up with Bourn, is he holding out or working out elsewhere?

Wow

February 21st, 2012
8:12 pm

Pics of the biceps?

southgabrave

February 21st, 2012
8:27 pm

@ Weaseal…Bourn is working out with the University of Houston according to reports…position players aren’t required to report until friday i believe…so its not unusual that he’s not there

Bravo_F 52

February 21st, 2012
8:30 pm

Ugglaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

John Pappadoppagapoulas

February 21st, 2012
8:55 pm

Man I LOVE baseball!!!!
Why is it referred to as Dark Star?

Mark (another one)

February 21st, 2012
9:01 pm

Also remember that Bourn is in his last year of team control. Boras seems to always have his people show up on the last agreed to date.

Pete

February 21st, 2012
9:02 pm

Funny thing, Heyward slimmed down to improve from last year, Uggla beefed up. Which one is correct.

Kookoo room

February 21st, 2012
9:03 pm

Ugglas abt 5′9″-10″ 180

LAG

February 21st, 2012
9:16 pm

Hope it doesn’t screw him up… but Dan’s not a young player. I figure he knows what he’s doing.

Dan UGGLA

February 21st, 2012
9:59 pm

I love porno queens!!!

Chipper

February 21st, 2012
10:05 pm

I’m am a little fat right now. burp, burp. I like cheese burgers, fries, pork barbecue, pinto beans, hush puppies and nanner puddin. burp, burp. I like to finish it off with coke and krispee kreme donuts.

m white

February 21st, 2012
10:20 pm

I will never forgive or forget the Braves’ September Crash. Bobby would never have let that happen. Freddie should be coaching third base. The Braves are losers. A kid is going to play shortstop; Chipper is waaaay over the hill; McCann is fat and can’t throw anybody out; Heyward is a one season fluke; Hudson is done; Jurjens is a cripple; Hanson is a terrific dart thrower at any English pub; and … aw … heck … who am I kidding .. I will still root for these guys no matter what.

Stupid Suggestions

February 21st, 2012
10:59 pm

Right. Bobby would have instead just crashed in the NLDS.

Simpson's Homer

February 21st, 2012
11:20 pm

I don’t like hearing that yet another Brave has “bulked up”. Francouer returned to form with KC after LOSING weight. Even Melky/Milky Cabrera had a good year last year after LOSING weight. Part of Andruw Jones’ decline was getting FAT. Heyward was wise to LOSE weight.

Baseball is a marathon sport — stamina and flexible muscles that will avoid “pulls” are much more important than hitting the ball 450 feet instead of 420. Hopefully, Uggla won’t be affected negatively! …..GO BRAVES!!

Choppinmama

February 21st, 2012
11:24 pm

Sounds like Uggla needs custom uni sleeves for those big GUNS. Gonna be some leather-popping over at first, to be sure.

Choppinmama

February 21st, 2012
11:27 pm

Maybe some Braves fans can take a page from Dan’s playbook about how to handle adversity………stay calm and work through it.

When will they

February 21st, 2012
11:30 pm

PAINT THE HITTERS BACKDROP BLACK?!!! FCS was black and it was called the launching pad TF is dark green and alot harder to pick up the ball. Please paint it black.

rally

February 22nd, 2012
12:58 am

A slider here….a slider there…and a slider everywhere. How many sliders does it take for one to strikeout like Andruw Jones did when he was here????? THREE IN A ROW in no particular order. Try that on UGGS this year instead of fastballs and he won’t hit jack or jack it. I guarantee it…..

reckingball

February 22nd, 2012
1:20 am

Uggla is bulked up with muscle.
Melky was pudged up with fat. Add a lot of lazy to that fat, and you had Melky 2010.

Fredi Will Screw It Up Somehow

February 22nd, 2012
1:58 am

“I will never forgive or forget the Braves’ September Crash. Bobby would never have let that happen.”

You sure about that? I remember plenty of chokejobs under Bobby?

Stinger2

February 22nd, 2012
3:53 am

High Expectations = Great Disapointment

Low Expectations = Great Surprise
Take your pick

count_schemula

February 22nd, 2012
3:54 am

I agree though, as bad as he was, I noticed his approach and attitude and I gained respect for him.

The Grinch

February 22nd, 2012
4:58 am

He didn’t say he was bulking up for the season; he admitted he plans on losing some of it back. No worries.

bob from marietta

February 22nd, 2012
7:59 am

Just read something off the web and it says that since the Braves are in contract w/Fox Sports South and Peachtree TV for 25 years for very little money. So it’s fair to say that the Braves will be stuck as a middle market team till it expires…. Yikes! Texas Rangers got a fat deal hence they’ve been spending like it’s 2004!!!

CaptainMudderland

February 22nd, 2012
8:02 am

Dan will get with it early this year and make us all proud.

billy bob ball

February 22nd, 2012
8:29 am

Uggla will still try to pull every pitch on the outer half of the plate and end up with a dribbler to third or short, but we can all cheer his new biceps as the rally ending double play unfolds.

Hosea Williams

February 22nd, 2012
8:38 am

This is not good news, tell me the last Braves player that bulked up and played well that year? Bulk won’t help him turn 2 either.

Really?

February 22nd, 2012
8:45 am

Low expectations and a dirty mind are the keys to happiness

bravesgrl4life

February 22nd, 2012
9:07 am

I ♥ Dan Uggla! So want to touch those guns :)

Cecil Upshaw's Ghost

February 22nd, 2012
9:13 am

After the Braves have to release Ugly for hitting .145, 3 dingers and 8 RBI, he is going to join the WWF and become a ‘rassler. Big, bulky, muskles doe not mean he will be a better hitter. You can get so big you cannot extend.

bravesfansince1982

February 22nd, 2012
9:13 am

Gotta love this fanbase. People cry that we don’t have enough power in our lineup. Our best power hitter bulks up and people still complain.

Uggla hit 36 HR in a year where he didn’t hit at all for half the season. If he feels comfortable, I’m guessing that we will see 40 HR out of him in 2012. That plus a resurgant Heyward, a healthy Prado, a more experienced Freeman, McCann, Bourn – not to mention one of the deepest and most talented pitching staffs – there’s a lot to be excited about.

Guess what? 2011 is over and done with. There’s no sense bringing it up anymore. It has nothing to do with what the Braves will be trying to accomplish in 2012. I, for one, cannot wait until they hit the field, so we can actually have some intelligent conversations around here (although that may be asking too much).

alex

February 22nd, 2012
9:30 am

.233 for 13.5 million, man Wrenn’s got to be proud. Let’s face it , Uggla does hustle and he can hit homeruns and he has NO range and can’t hit for average in the non steroid (!!??!!) era he is a waste!

ghostwriter

February 22nd, 2012
9:33 am

I can’t wait for this season to start. Yeah, the Nationals and Marlins got better, but I don’t think they’re anywhere as good as what we can be. Neither of their pitching staffs can hold a light to ours, in my opinion, and the Phillies are getting nothing but older.

People are forgetting that before our collapse, we were one of the five best teams in baseball. Let’s do it again, Braves.

PMC

February 22nd, 2012
9:35 am

The average wasn’t going to be good due to the slump. The 36 HR’s were nice, the streak was great.

It’s one of the things that makes the 89 win total so depressing. They could have won 100 last year without much fuss. They just weaseled it away because they couldn’t hit at all early or late.

Coach (2012 Fredi's beisbol fandango)

February 22nd, 2012
9:37 am

Uggla’s physique will arguably help his power numbers. However, it won’t help in the defensive department. Heavier equates to slower in the field, the man belongs in LF, not at 2B.

Chipper = Fat

February 22nd, 2012
9:39 am

Chipper bulked up this off-season as well. It looks like he spent most of his off season at the chocolate waterfall at the Golden Corral near his ranch in texas

Dawg Haus

February 22nd, 2012
9:50 am

Uggla’s arms got even bigger? Woah!

stew

February 22nd, 2012
9:59 am

Braves can’t expect to finish second. They must know that they have to win the regular season title.

STRETCH

February 22nd, 2012
10:04 am

“Funny thing, Heyward slimmed down to improve from last year, Uggla beefed up. Which one is correct.”

Pete,

I was wondering the same thing. It really doesnt matter because this offense will avg 3 runs per game again late. An interesting point brought out from ESPN writer Jason Stark:

“So Gonzalez and McDowell have studied what happened, too. And they can’t get past the fact that they played 55 one-run games, tied with the Giants for the most by any NL team that finished with a winning record. They can’t overlook the 26 extra-inning games, the most by any team since the 1992 Cardinals.”

55 one run games and 26 extra-inning games? They could have won more of those games had the key players stepped up and hit the darn ball. But they figure it was Parrish, Lowe and Gonzales’ fault so they got sent away.

He also goes on to point out the fact that the Braves stood pat and didnt panic like most teams would have.

Im not buying that. The Braves dont have the money to make moves they used to be able to make for any free agents that could help. So, keeping this group together was the only thing they could do becuase of cheap Liberty Media.

And in case everyone has forgot, more reasons the Braves will struggle:

1. Phillies are still the best team in the NL East until proven otherwise.
2. The Marlins have put together a darn good team!
3. The Nats always give the Braves trouble and they keep adding pieces every season, eventually the will climb the ladder.
4. Chipper wil break down by June and they will have to move Prado to 3rd then Diaz to LF. Whats Chipper getting like 13 Mil? What a waste of money!

But if most of the team stays healthy, I wonder what excuses will they have this season?

Maurice

February 22nd, 2012
10:07 am

@bravesfansince1982 you are asking well too much… about the intelligent conversations for some fanatics of the Braves. Like you, I am optimistic about the season.

bvillebaron

February 22nd, 2012
10:18 am

Stretch:

I personally think the Braves would have wrapped up the wild card last year if the “braintrust”, including Wren, would have let Teheran or Medlen pitch the last month and a half instead of sending Derek Lowe out to pitch batting practice for a team struggling to score runs. Funny how all of you negative nellies only highlight the question marks for the Braves and ignore the question marks that all of the other contenders in the NL East have, including the Phillies who probbaly have more than the Braves.

STRETCH

February 22nd, 2012
10:27 am

bville,

And thats YOUR opinion. Thats why we are Keyboard Coaches cause no matter what we say, Liberty Media, Frank Wren and Freddie dont hear or care what WE say.

And why are you calling people negative? Sounds like the pot calling to kettle black to me. LOL!

DetroitBraves

February 22nd, 2012
10:52 am

At the risk of being discouraging, for the people that think the Braves would have been better off last year with better hitting with RISP the Braves hit .243/.308/.387 overall and .249/.338/.375 with RISP. The average and slugging is virtually the same while the OBP actually went up in so-called clutch situations. With apologies to Dennis Green, the Braves are who we thought they were. The problem was no matter the situation they made too many outs. We’ll see who they are in 2012.

Dozer

February 22nd, 2012
10:54 am

How do big biceps translate into shrinking a strike zone the size of a refrigerator? I guess he’ll have more bat speed on his swing-n’-misses….

reckingball

February 22nd, 2012
11:08 am

I watched almost all of the Braves games last year, and there failure to hit with RISP is absolutely the reason they did not make the playoffs.

reckingball

February 22nd, 2012
11:17 am

Doom and gloom aside. The Braves will go deep into the playoffs this year.
They have the potential to win the WS in 2012.

Brave New World

February 22nd, 2012
11:25 am

Uggla is going to have a monster year in 2012 and the Braves will be a playoff team.

honeybee

February 22nd, 2012
11:28 am

Nice words reckingball, I agree that they have the potential, but again too much whining and excuses wiil spell their doom.

MD

February 22nd, 2012
11:32 am

Hope springs eternal. As bad as the Braves played last year they were still one of the best teams in the majors. Everybody groans about the collapse, but think about it…..if they would have made it to the playoffs they would have been humiliated in the NLDS because of the way they were playing in September. Last year is over, it’s time to move on and start again. New season and everybody’s record starts 0-0.

TB

February 22nd, 2012
11:34 am

Dear media & fans,

Let’s not mention the “COLLAPSE” anymore. Aren’t we all a little sick about hering about it in every story about the Braves.? I know I am!!!

honeybee

February 22nd, 2012
11:40 am

The collapse is over.That is not the problem. The excuses and the whining is the problem.

Brave New World

February 22nd, 2012
11:45 am

MD February 22nd, 2012 11:32 am
Hope springs eternal. As bad as the Braves played last year they were still one of the best teams in the majors. Everybody groans about the collapse, but think about it…..if they would have made it to the playoffs they would have been humiliated in the NLDS because of the way they were playing in September. Last year is over, it’s time to move on and start again. New season and everybody’s record starts 0-0.

Amen, MD! GO BRAVES!

Bob the Blogger

February 22nd, 2012
11:53 am

I’m confussed as well. Diaz lost weight in order to hit better. Heyward lost weight so he could hit better. Now, Uggla bulked up so he can hit better.

Bravo_F 52

February 22nd, 2012
12:11 pm

That Muscle milk must be powerful stuff

worst baseball town in america

February 22nd, 2012
12:13 pm

3rd place. buyer beware.

Wrecker

February 22nd, 2012
12:16 pm

Uggla has bulked up over the off-season because that is often what power hitters do. The opportunities to work out during the baseball season are few and far between. It is difficult to maintain muscle, let alone add it. He figures he can add the muscle now so that it will pay off late in the season, when most power hitters start to run down and lose oomph.

DetroitBraves

February 22nd, 2012
12:19 pm

@reckingball, no disrespect but the numbers do not support your claim. I think we all fail victim to selective memory. I would have guessed you were correct without looking at the data but it’s simply not true, or at least it’s not true that they were worse with RISP than they were at any other time. Which means the most accurate statement is that the Braves did not make the playoffs last year because they did not have a very good offense. Period.

Think About it

February 22nd, 2012
12:19 pm

Look, Uggla was not brought here to hit for average. His avg is normally decent, but his primary skill is crushing the ball. I can only imagine what the complaints would be if the Braves had ever signed Adam Dunn like so many fans wanted.

New season, and it appears a “something to prove” attitude. Could be a fun summer

alex

February 22nd, 2012
12:25 pm

@ bob.. hard to figure that out. Research has shown that the distance a ball is hit depends more on bat speed ,thus the muscle built would have to be fast fibers.. Anyway he’s not worth 13.5 million for 30 dingers

Loosing Managar = Loosing Record

February 22nd, 2012
12:25 pm

OK……Mr OBrain your man crush on Uggly is creepy.

DetroitBraves

February 22nd, 2012
12:28 pm

@think about it, I’m with you. Uggla’s WAR according to Fangraphs go 4.5, 2.7, 4.6, 2.7, 4.9, 2.5. That’s an amazing, though I’m sure not meaningful, sequence. Hope he keeps it up for one more season since 2012 should be around 4.5 or so again. His BABIP has moved along with it (or the other way around, I guess) with more fortunate numbers providing averages around .280 and less fortunate around .240. That said, his isolated power has been consistent. He is a thumper.

henry tn

February 22nd, 2012
12:31 pm

i think uggla will have a better year than he had last year….

Naboo the Enigma

February 22nd, 2012
12:43 pm

Loosing Managar = Loosing Record

February 22nd, 2012
12:46 pm

This guy is as bad as the Falcons sighing Donto Roberson. All that mony 4 nuttin!

Largo

February 22nd, 2012
12:53 pm

Looks like another bad year for the Braves vs Lefties. We’ll have a fat statue (slob) at third base and a catcher with a large amount of avoirdupois behind the plate. A .500 team at best.

DZ

February 22nd, 2012
12:55 pm

I feel confident Uggla will bounce back this year.
The Braves need him to hit better than .275, 20 HR, 100 RBI.

1eyedJack

February 22nd, 2012
1:07 pm

Somebody run into the clubhouse and tear April, May, and June off the calender, quick!

alex

February 22nd, 2012
1:10 pm

@detroit,with all do respect,WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

sfbllump

February 22nd, 2012
1:31 pm

Since Dish dumped Peachtree TV, anyone know how I can watch the Braves when PTV does the broadcast? I don’t have an analog antennae????

reckingball

February 22nd, 2012
1:54 pm

Detriot@10;52am & 1259PM…..The Braves numbers might have been better with RISP than they were overall, but that is not saying very much for them.
What I was saying, is that I watched many, many, many, too many games where the Braves needed just one hit, with runners on 2nd and/or 3rd with no outs, or one out, in a tie or 1 run game in the late innings, and they could not get a run across the plate, which would have resulted in a win.
It happened all the time, resulting in so many one run loses, and extra inning games(which resulted in the over use of OVentBril and the rest of the pen).
I agree with you, the Braves did not have a very good offense last year, but I have to say, failure to hit with RISP was a big part of that bad offense.
That’s my opin.

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2012
1:57 pm

I’m confussed as well. Diaz lost weight in order to hit better. Heyward lost weight so he could hit better. Now, Uggla bulked up so he can hit better. — Bob the Blogger

So you’re “confused?” Does this mean you think all hitters start from same baseline, same body type and conditioning, at the end of each season, thus it wouldn’t make sense that some would want to add muscle and others would like to trim down?

reckingball

February 22nd, 2012
1:59 pm

I still think they can take it all in 2012.
GO BRAVES!!

BravesFanSince80's

February 22nd, 2012
2:06 pm

Dan Uggla needs to cut down on his swing and get a LOT more patient at the plate to be a more productive, consistent hitter in the middle of the lineup. If he can’t maintain the 4-hole for the entire season at a productive level, he is not worth what Frank Wren paid him to get him. Classic Frank Wren mistake, look at a “perceived” hole in the lineup on paper, think only of that “perceived” hole and forego defense at a defensive position in order to “fix” the “perceived” hole. It was a mistake to get him and we’re going to be paying for it for years to come. If he hits over .250, I’ll be surprised. Who cares about 36 home runs with well below 100 RBI’s and terrible OBP and sluggish defense at 2B? The “blind hog finding an acorn” routine with him has already worn thin with me, fewer home runs and more base hits and sac flies would quell my bitching, but I doubt he’ll pull it off. I predict he’ll lead the NL in strikeouts this season with his “huge guns”…

bravesfansince1982

February 22nd, 2012
2:06 pm

We can’t have that optimism around here, reckingball. Only comments about the collapse, Chipper’s weight, the bust that is Jason Heyward, Fredi’s inability to manage, etc.

BravesFanLostInOhio

February 22nd, 2012
2:18 pm

I’m confused as well. Diaz lost weight in order to hit better. Heyward lost weight so he could hit better. Now, Uggla bulked up so he can hit better. — Bob the Blogger

So you’re “confused?” Does this mean you think all hitters start from same baseline, same body type and conditioning, at the end of each season, thus it wouldn’t make sense that some would want to add muscle and others would like to trim down? – DOB

It’s a fair question. Not all of us are athletes or spend all day around them, so please forgive us as we try to wrap our puny brains around the issue.

I would echo the sentiment of Bob the Blogger’s question. Is there any concern that Uggla has bulked up too much? I’m really pulling for the guy and I just hope he isn’t trying TOO hard to prove last year was just a fluke.

bravesfansince1982

February 22nd, 2012
2:19 pm

“Who cares about 36 home runs with well below 100 RBI’s and terrible OBP and sluggish defense at 2B?”

If the guys in front of him do their job, then 36 HR will translate to over 100 RBI. I’ll take that. And his defense in 2011 was far from sluggish. He’ll never win a gold glove, but his fielding was a pleasant surprise last year.

Uggla’s not going to hit much better than .250, but if he mashes and does what everyone has projected him to do, he’s definitely not a bust.

Dave

February 22nd, 2012
2:25 pm

What ever he did off season won’t matter to me if he can’t show up ready to play on opening day. How do you call yourself a professional anything and not show up day 1 ready to do the job you were hired to do? The rest of us would get fired, especially if we were getting paid that kind of money.

Lemke's Knuckler

February 22nd, 2012
2:26 pm

“I predict he’ll lead the NL in strikeouts this season with his “huge guns”

You do realize Ryan Howard averages about 185 K’s per season, and he’s just a horrible player, isn’t he?

DetroitBraves

February 22nd, 2012
2:29 pm

@reckingball, I don’t disagree with you. They absolutely did not hit with RISP. I guess my argument is that they hit with RISP about as well as could be expected since they didn’t really hit at all, any time, in any situation. Usually when people talk about RISP they usually are implying a team is either clutch (better RISP numbers than overall) or chokers (worse RISP numbers than overall). In the Braves case they just didn’t hit. They didn’t hit with RISP. They didn’t hit with runners not in scoring position. They just plain ol’ didn’t hit. But we’ll see. A lot of the same players did much better in 2010. I’m hoping 2011 is an anomaly.

ken

February 22nd, 2012
2:31 pm

i got after it right after the season ended too. i’ve been drinking bud lite (for the figure) and eating trans fats everyday, haven’t taken a week off. i’ll be in prime form to drink through the extra inning games this year. i’m in for all 162+. chop chip!

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2012
2:32 pm

Fredi said Braves have O’Ventbrel trio plus Medlen, Martinez penciled in for ‘pen, last 2 spots likely to come from Asencio, Varvaro, Vizcaino, Fish.

Teheran and Delgado aren’t serious bullpen candidates. They’ll be starters, either in majors or Triple-A. Fredi said they need innings and to pitch every fifth day. This isn’t surprising, even though he said few weeks back that they might be bullpen candidates if one of them didn’t make rotation.

alex

February 22nd, 2012
2:35 pm

Braves fan in ohio,DOB is ignorant, see my above comment;sure their is concern if the bulking doesn’t help fast fibers or we will see more wiffs than last year…. It’s about bat speed. There are several books about the physics of baseball, DOB -you may find them informative,then again…..

DetroitBraves

February 22nd, 2012
2:37 pm

@fansince80’s, I think you’re dead-on. If he can’t get on-base along with his defense (-12.2 UZR!!!) he’s not a good player, 36 homers or no. However, the thing about him being more patient and cutting down his swing? Maybe, but he’s 32 next month. He probably is what he is. Actually, worse than that, he’s probably less than what he was. That said, I expect him to get on-base better than he did in 2011. He should be a better offensive player.

DetroitBraves

February 22nd, 2012
2:39 pm

DOB, do you know if in the long-term the Braves view Vizcaino as a starter?

David O'Brien

February 22nd, 2012
2:41 pm

Braves fan in ohio,DOB is ignorant, see my above comment;sure their is concern if the bulking doesn’t help fast fibers or we will see more wiffs than last year…. It’s about bat speed. There are several books about the physics of baseball, DOB -you may find them informative,then again….. — alex

Thanks, Alex. For everything.

BravesFanSince80's

February 22nd, 2012
2:46 pm

@BravesFanSince1982: Dan Uggla isn’t a feared hitter by anyone anymore. listen to talk about him outside the Braves organization. NOBODY is including him in the elite 2B talk anymore. he’s a mistake hitter. his 36 HR’s were when he came to the plate with bobody on and the pitcher lost focus for a pitch or two and mister “huge guns” aired a floater 5′ over the wall. he’s an all or nothing type hitter which I will NEVER be a fan of…

BravesFanSince80's

February 22nd, 2012
2:48 pm

bravesfansince1982

February 22nd, 2012
2:48 pm

DOB – you ever think that this blog may be better off if there wasn’t a comment section?

alex

February 22nd, 2012
2:49 pm

@DOB, it’s gonna be a LOOOOng season, play ball! As john travolta says in “michael”: “you gotta laugh”

dap01

February 22nd, 2012
2:59 pm

What is the scouting report on Ascieno? What is his ceiling? He is out of options, will he stick with the big league club?

braveslover

February 22nd, 2012
3:00 pm

Uggs was hired to mash the ball, not to hit for average, not to be a stellar fielder, not to lead the team in doubles, not to lead with hits with risp. His mind set is to swing as hard as he can and NO ONE is going to change him. So with about 35 home runs in 450 ab’s we can enjoy him trot around the bases once every 12 games or so (give or take). The rest of the time we can take bets daily on who will hit into the most double plays (Uggs or McCann) on that day. Uggs probably isn’t the most useless person on the team but could be considered for the least coachable and least likely to come through in the clutch awards.

DetroitBraves

February 22nd, 2012
3:05 pm

@bravesfansince80’s, Baseball Prospectus projects Uggla to hit .249/.334/.461 with terrible defense. Believe it or not, that would still make him about the 5th or 6th most valuable 2nd baseman in baseball. That surprised me. Something to be said for having power at the second base position I guess.

1eyedJack

February 22nd, 2012
3:08 pm

Catchers beware, don’t get too close. If Uggla swings and misses it could be fatal.

Ryan

February 22nd, 2012
3:14 pm

DOB,

Can either you ask John Schuerholz or can you ask Tim Tucker to ask John Schuerholz about the following statement, released to fans in an open letter shortly after the Sept. collapse, and if he feels that his orgainization has “repaired its weaknesses?” Thanks.

From John Schuerholz, Oct. 6:

“However, our performance in the month of September was unacceptable to all in the organization, and we will evaluate and analyze our missteps to do all we can to prevent this from happening again. Our General Manager, Frank Wren, and his staff have already begun to evaluate our team and will be focusing throughout the off-season on building upon the strengths of this team and repairing our weaknesses to achieve our goal.”

Brave New World

February 22nd, 2012
3:17 pm

Whiners, take a break from bashing the Braves, and try to feel sorry for a team with soon-to-be real problems, the Phillies. They’ve got a pitcher with only one 15 win season in his career about to ask for $20 million+ annually and at least a 5 year deal. That pitcher would be the non-future Hall of Famer, Cole Hamels.

DetroitBraves

February 22nd, 2012
3:25 pm

@Braves New World, I believe in the current market his value is close to $20M, maybe not quite but close. Five years? I don’t know. But I bet the Phillies put less stock in pitcher wins as a statistic than you think. Though this is the same organization that thought Ryan Howard was a good long-term investment…….

bravesfansince1982

February 22nd, 2012
3:30 pm

Ryan – we won’t see if the weaknesses have been repaired until after the season starts, The Braves hitting with RISP and their offense overall was woeful, especially in September. The hitting coach was fired and replaced. If Heyward and Prado return to form, and Uggla avoids his early season woes, then I’d say that they have. But unfortunately, we won’t know until around Memorial Day.

Stinger2

February 22nd, 2012
3:35 pm

Regardless of what Uggla does or does not do, the Braves have too many other “ifs” and question marks. Pastornicky, Chipper, starting pitching, Heyward to name a few. I see 85 wins at best.

Add your comment