Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez dropped struggling second baseman Dan Uggla to the seventh spot Friday night against the Phillies, the lowest he’s hit in the order all season.
Uggla hit in the No. 7 hole three times last season, June 1, July 5 and 6. While hitting seventh July 5 of last year, Uggla started his 33-game hitting streak that changed the whole complexion of his season. The streak was the longest in the majors since Chase Utley’s 35–gamer in 2006 and helped Uggla rebound from an abysmal start as a Brave.
Not that Gonzalez is using this move as any kind of motivation, necessarily. The way he explained it Friday afternoon, it had more to do with making sure the Braves’ hottest hitters were higher in the order, simple as that.
Gonzalez said when he reinserted Chipper Jones back in the No. 4 spot he slid everybody else back down.
“The other guys are swinging the bat pretty good,” said Gonzalez, who mentioned Michael Bourn, Martin Prado, and Chipper Jones, as well as Brian McCann, who’s shown signs of coming around lately. “If you want to try to keep the line moving you put the guys who are swinging it pretty good….There’s really not many places you can put him without disrupting some of the other stuff that’s going good.”
Uggla went 2-for-29 on the Braves recent 10-game homestand to lower his season batting average to .225. He was 9-for-85 (.106) in his past 26 games entering Friday night.
Uggla had hit fourth 50 times, fifth 26 times and sixth five times.