Gonzalez sits struggling Uggla

Braves second baseman Dan Uggla didn’t like it much, but he didn’t argue either, when manager Fredi Gonzalez gave him his first day out of the lineup of the 2012 season Friday night against the Nationals.

Uggla has been in a three-week slide at the plate, hitting only .108 (7-for-65) in his past 20 games, and wasn’t too surprised when Gonzalez sent him a text message Friday morning letting him know he wouldn’t be in the lineup. Of course, Uggla didn’t respond to it either.

“Give him a day, and just let him just relax, enjoy baseball again a little bit,” said Gonzalez, who said Uggla would be available off the bench. “It’s something that we need to do as managers. He doesn’t want it. He’ll fight you tooth and nail for it, but I outrank him. I don’t outrank too many people, but I outrank him.”

When asked later if getting a mental breather could be a good thing, Uggla said, “No it’s terrible, for the fact that (because of) the performance I’ve been putting out there he doesn’t want me in there. You can call it a mental day. You can call it a day off. You can call it whatever you want, but any time he feels like you’ve got to have one of these days, it’s not a good thing – in my eyes, anyways.”

Gonzalez always jokes about the difficulty in telling Uggla he thinks he need a day out to rest, or clear his head, and the two are fine with each other as always. But Gonzalez felt he needed to do something to break up Uggla’s rhythm. He was 0-for-11 entering Friday’s game and 4-for-45 with 20 strikeouts in his past 13 games, including three strikeouts on Thursday night against Arizona – all looking.

Uggla concedes that a stretch when he wasn’t getting pitches to hit (16 walks in 13 games) with so many Braves big hitters out injured might have gotten into his head a little bit.

“I don’t mind walking but just like everybody, you want to go up there and hit,” Uggla said. “So when you do get yourself in a hitter’s count you may chase something trying to be aggressive, to put a ball in play, try to hit it hard, and drive someone in. You may expand the zone a little bit.

“…When you’re struggling you want to take advantage of every mistake that’s made, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. You almost want to be more patient and let the pitchers come to you. Let them make two mistakes in an at-bat rather than trying to hit the first one.”

Gonzalez pointed out that a breather worked this past series for Arizona’s Chris Young, who was out of the lineup for three games, but came back and hit home runs in back-to-back appearances.

The move also allowed Gonzalez to give Jack Wilson his first start in a game since May 30 when Andrelton Simmons got called up. Wilson was in at second base.

32 comments Add your comment

Dave

June 29th, 2012
6:54 pm

I have to agree with Fredi here.

MD Braves fan

June 29th, 2012
6:54 pm

Well then, its all good. Jack Wilson makes this team virtually unstoppable. Uggla needed to sit but thiis is an example of the hideous depth on the Braves. Thanks , Frank.

Nelson

June 29th, 2012
6:54 pm

So, why Prado too, at the same day?

shorty

June 29th, 2012
7:14 pm

Fredi Fails again keeping one of our hottest players out of such an important game…its time to get Fredi the Failure out of the Braves dugout!

ACE

June 29th, 2012
7:17 pm

Fredi outranks the AJC reporters.

REAGAN2012

June 29th, 2012
7:23 pm

MENTAL BREATHER ALWAY FELT UGGLA ONE OF THE SMARTST PLAYERS ON THE TAME

Rick

June 29th, 2012
7:30 pm

Prado has a sore hamstring. Fredi wanted to give him the day off after noticing him favoring it in the game yesterday.

swright

June 29th, 2012
7:33 pm

With the Diamondbacks series already won, and first place Washington coming to town the next day, wouldn’t last night have been the best time to rest Uggla?

WTF......

June 29th, 2012
7:34 pm

we all agree Uggla needs a day off but why now,we need him in the lineup against the nats,he should have sat game against AZ.

Bravefaninok

June 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

WTF……

June 29th, 2012
7:34 pm

we all agree Uggla needs a day off but why now,we need him in the lineup against the nats,he should have sat game against AZ.

Dan hits Stasburg very well ,give him a breather today go take his frustrations out on Stasburg saturday.

cowdogit

June 29th, 2012
8:43 pm

The falcoms have scouts at the game looking for offensive linemen.

cowdogit

June 29th, 2012
8:43 pm

The falcoms have scouts at the game looking for offensive linemen.

Richierich

June 29th, 2012
9:22 pm

Gonzalez should get the day off not Uggla. Playing the 1st place team and I don’t care how big of slump one may be in you don’t bench 2 of your best hitters. Give the job to Pendleton. Go home Freddie and take Jack Wilson with you.

newsman

June 29th, 2012
9:29 pm

File this note under the following heading: “What Was Braves Management Thinking?”

Absurdity No. 1: Dan Uggla is out of the lineup against our first-place divisional rival because he’s been in a slump? Instead, we start the aging backup, Jack Wilson, whose error in the third inning led to two unearned runs and who has no punch at the plate?

Absurdity No. 2: Martin Prado could play, but isn’t doing so against our first-place divisional rival tonight because of a tender hamstring? Instead we go with Matt Diaz, who is an adventure in the field and at the plate on a good day.

Absurdity No. 3: We have Andrelton Simmons batting in the 2 hole? He’s a rookie who still is unpolished and has no business being in that spot.

Then there are the intangibles: I can’t tell you how pathetic this job of managing is by Freddie Gonzalez night after night. He’s a bump on a log, and his players exhibit that personality. They are mentally weak. At the first sign of adversity, they crumble like a cookie.

The Braves were destined to lose the minute Freddie put that “B-squad” lineup on the field. And he made these moves against the first-place divisional rivals?

Then there is the issue of body language. This team carries itself like a loser with the exception of a few players. It’s clear to anyone they are flat as a team, void of confidence and that something is amiss with management.

And I’m not just talking about this game. It’s been ongoing at home for weeks with an occasional victory or two thrown — just enough to make fans think twice, only to watch this time lapse back into its old ways.

Exhibit A: Last night’s game against the Diamondbacks. The Braves simply rolled over and died. When the Braves two-run lead was wiped out, it was curtains for this team.

So, the ball is in your court Frank. You can either make some bold moves, or watch you fan base continue to erode.

Do you really want the legacy of this regime to be, “What Was Braves Management Thinking?”

newsman

June 29th, 2012
9:31 pm

Dear Frank Wren: (Resent with typo fixes)

File this note under the following heading: “What Was Management Thinking?”

Absurdity No. 1: Dan Uggla is out of the lineup against our first-place divisional rival because he’s been in a slump? Instead, we start the aging backup, Jack Wilson, whose error in the third inning led to two unearned runs and who has no punch at the plate?

Absurdity No. 2: Martin Prado could play, but isn’t doing so against our first-place divisional rival tonight because of a tender hamstring? Instead we go with Matt Diaz, who is an adventure in the field and at the plate on a good day.

Absurdity No. 3: We have Andrelton Simmons batting in the 2 hole? He’s a rookie who still is unpolished and has no business being in that spot.

Then there are the intangibles: I can’t tell you how pathetic this job of managing is by Freddie Gonzalez night after night. He’s a bump on a log, and his players exhibit that personality. They are mentally weak. At the first sign of adversity, they crumble like a cookie.

The Braves were destined to lose the minute Freddie put that “B-squad” lineup on the field. And he made these moves against the first-place divisional rivals?

Then there is the issue of body language. This team carries itself like a loser with the exception of a few players. It’s clear to anyone they are flat as a team, void of confidence and that something is amiss with management.

And I’m not just talking about this game. It’s been ongoing at home for weeks with an occasional victory or two thrown in — just enough to make fans think twice, only to watch this team lapse back into its old ways.

Exhibit A: Last night’s game against the Diamondbacks. The Braves simply rolled over and died. When the Braves two-run lead was wiped out, it was curtains for this team.

So, the ball is in your court Frank. You can either make some bold moves, or watch you fan base continue to erode.

Do you really want the legacy of this regime to be, “What Were They Thinking?”

Richierich

June 29th, 2012
9:35 pm

Well said newsman…..why not give the job to Pendleton ? Freddie’s coaching skills and the culture he creates are about as good as his playing days…..sub par double a back up catcher…..go back to Cuba Fredi and take Jack Wilson with you please….

No Flag Since Lemke

June 29th, 2012
9:44 pm

newsman – also agree. Time for some drastic measures in the dugout and the front office. But at best they will come during the off season after we have thrown away another year that could have been.

south al fan

June 29th, 2012
10:03 pm

the ofense stinks and fat freddy does not have a clue on how to fix it. WE NEED A NEW MANAGER AND PITCHING COACH.

ACE

June 29th, 2012
11:25 pm

well said Newsman. You can forget about any of these reporters questioning Fredi on these moves. If this was Larry Drew they would have been calling for his job all season.

Coach

June 29th, 2012
11:45 pm

This team plays like they are uninspired, and like they just got bullied out of their lunch money! Attitude is contagious and it stems from the leadership the manager provides. Fredi is about the unemotional manager that I have ever seen. I mean, he shows no emotion in the dugout, good or bad.

Putting Kimbrel in the game the other night was the wrong move. Kimbrel brings a different game when its a save situation.

The fan base is withering like a fern without water for a couple of weeks, and if the front office doesn’t wake up and smell the coffee then it will be another wasted season down the tubes. We need a pitcher or two to turn this rotation around.

This team isn’t hungry for the postseason. Its not going to be handed to them. The Nats….now, they are playing as if their wanting something, and they are not looking back until they get to where they want to go, and that’s the playoffs. Some days, the braves play as good as anybody in baseball, and some days, a little league team can beat them. Somebody please kick Fredi between the legs and tell him to wake up!

ACE

June 30th, 2012
12:32 am

The AJC needs to see if they can’t hire someone from the Red and Black to ask some questions of this manager.

Beltransrigthearmole

June 30th, 2012
3:03 am

“Uggla has been in a three-week slide at the plate, hitting only .108 (7-for-65) in his past 20 games”

Since he crashed the ball into the Sun God in center in Miami.

We can try to ignore it but that’s a fact.

:)

chas

June 30th, 2012
6:01 am

strugla on the bench, strugla in the game, nohits either place, so whats the differencs!!!!!!!!!!

Denny LeMaster

June 30th, 2012
9:12 am

Newsman has it down in his post above. This team is poorly put together. It is poorly led from the front office to the field manager. Do you think the Yankees sit Jeter, Tex, AROd when they play the Rays or BoSox? Don’t think so. The stupid Braves were smart to sit Uggly, but his replacement is a NOTHING!!! Couldn’t even stick with the stinking Mariners. But why was Prado sitting? The Uggly contract is going to be another massive contract that will hold this team back for years. This team is going no where. I can hardly wait for college football to begin. Just a couple more months. I guess I will go hang out in the N. GA mountains on weekends until then.

Ebenezer Snerdberg

June 30th, 2012
10:48 am

Face it folks. We’re going nowhere until Frank Cox, Havana Fats and Roger McDoofus are replaced. They are totally inept. But since our ‘owner’ Liberty Mucilage don’t give a sigma we are doomed to playing the also ran. When we get a local owner with deep pockets we will win again. Not until! See you in the funny papers!

BravesWin

June 30th, 2012
11:28 am

I can appreciate aggressiveness at the plate, but Uggla’s comment about having a hitter’s count and going after questionable pitches doesn’t seem like a professional approach to ML hitting.

jerry

June 30th, 2012
11:30 am

Someone’s idea of a really good player who has stats of .240, 30 homers, 150 strikeouts , is average defensively, and has little speed is quite different from mine. But there were those who went ga ga when Wren signed him, perhaps the same ones who think rah rah is the answer to a mediocre roster and all that is needed is for this mediocre roster is to play inspired and hungry. In the long run, every team plays to its level ot talent. When injuries hit and the talent level goes down so does the team, regardless of the players playing “inspired” and “hungry”. But of course this is unacceptable to those who want a quick and easy solution to a team’s problems.

bostonbravo

June 30th, 2012
11:32 am

agree with Snerdberg.

also…short memories…Pendleton was a ghastly hitting coach, how can you even think of him as mgr? He needs to go with the others.

bobby

June 30th, 2012
1:41 pm

Have the Braves won a game with their B team this year? Is it just coincidence that FG always plays them against the better teams. Makes you wonder.

John A.

June 30th, 2012
1:53 pm

You could have JESUS CHRIST managing, but with the talent on the field even he couldn’t win. When is John S going to admit he made a mistake when he hired Wren? If that bum were any good he’d still be in Baltimore with Buck Showalter……speaking of which….have you noticed how the O’s are playing? If McDowell is a pitching coach I’m a Russian Motorcycle Cop.

Jaime

June 30th, 2012
2:54 pm

Uggla, sit down and be a team player and not a whiner!

Pale Rider

July 25th, 2012
6:43 pm

Uggla’s bad attitude isn’t winning him many fans in Atlanta.

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