Fredi G. on Uggla’s epic slump and Chipper’s Tweet

After Fredi Gonzalez told a funny story this morning about how he’d not slept much worried about Chipper Jones’ health after Chipper Tweeted late Saturday night that he “had a date with the Doc” today (more on that in a moment), I ruined the mood by asking about the decidedly unfunny and extended slump of one Dan Uggla.

Gonzalez said Dan Uggla's long, brutal hitting slump hasn't hurt his confidence or hustle, so he'll keep playing him and let him try to work through it.

Gonzalez said Dan Uggla's long, brutal hitting slump hasn't hurt his confidence or hustle, so he'll keep playing him and let him try to work through it.

It’s getting epic, folks.

The Braves second baseman had a two-homer, five-RBI game on June 5 at Miami, and since then it’s been he’s been the worst hitter in baseball.

Uggla has hit .110 (15-for-136) with two doubles, two homers, nine RBIs and 55 strikeouts in 42 games since then, and he’s gone hitless in 10 of his past 11 games, with at least three at-bats in each of those 10 0-for’s. He’s 0-for-21 with nine strikeouts in his past seven games.

The home fans are getting restless – actually they’ve been that way for a while about Uggla – and it’s probably because they have seen Uggla at his worst. Uggla’s .209 overall average this season includes .181 (and a .297 slugging percentage) in 48 games at Turner Field, where he’s hit four homers and struck out 60 times in 155 at-bats. It gets worse.

In his past 20 home games, Uggla has hit .063 (4-for-64) with one double, two RBIs, 12 walks, 30 strikeouts – yes, 30 strikeouts in 64 at-bats – and a .319 OPS (.078 slugging percentage).

So I asked Fredi, again, what can be done about Uggla, if they’re thinking about doing anything different. (Like Pastornicky at second base for a while, or Prado at second and Hinske in left for a couple of games. I don’t know. Something.)

“One of the things you look at is if his confidence is still there,” Gonzalez said. “One of the signs you see of frustration [from slumping players] is you see guys get a called third strike or called strike two and fight with the umpire, and you don’t see that [from Uggla]. You don’t see him take it to the other side [defense]. You see him hit a ground ball and he’s still running 4.3 [seconds] down to first base; he’s not running 7-flat. He’s still in there fighting and battling. Keep running him in there.

“I talked to him last night about how he feels confidence-wise. He said, ‘Oh, I feel good. I’m in. I’m still in the battle. Still fighting.’ So you stay behind him and keep putting him in there really.”

Then he pointed out that despite Uggla’s mammoth slump, the Braves are winning.

“The other thing is, during these struggles, you go back as far as you want to go back, to the five-RBI game in Miami, it’s 44 games ago or whatever and we’re seven games over .500,” Gonzales said. “So it’s not like he’s killing us. You try to find a silver lining.”

The Braves are six games over .500 (24-18) in those 44 games during Uggla’s skid. And in his past 20 home games, with him doing almost nothing at the plate, they are 11-9.

“And he still commands a presence in the lineup,” Gonzalez said. “The other day we had runners at second and third with McCann at the plate, who’d got them [the Phillies] at that time for five home runs in a row. And I know it’s lefty against lefty with Hamels, but you’ve got Uggla on deck and everybody in the world knows he’s struggling, and they still chose to pitch to McCann. And McCann gets them for a three-run homer. So [Uggla] still commands some presence in the lineup.”

In other words, don’t expect changes anytime soon. Sounds like they’re going to let Uggla keep trying to swing his way out of this.

• Chipper’s date with “the Doc”: Gonzalez was watching the Olympics late Saturday night with his two teen-aged kids, when one of them noticed a Tweet from Chipper Jones (yes, the  Battle Axe jointed the Twitter-verse last week, after some imposters set up fake accounts using his name and did some distasteful stuff; Chipper figured it’d be wise to set up an authentic verified account).

Chipper – account @RealCJ10 — has only sent out 10 Tweets and already has over 62,000 followers. The 10th of those Tweets was this one at about midnight Saturday: “Wow Mikey Minor! Hats off to Blanton too. They were dealing. 4 game streak since I got on the twitta. Got a date wit the Doc tmrw. Go Bravos”

Chipper Jones' avatar photo on his new Twitter account, @RealCJ10. He Tweeted something late Friday that caused a night of restless sleep for manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Chipper Jones' avatar photo on his new Twitter account, @RealCJ10. He Tweeted something late Friday that caused a night of restless sleep for manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Can you tell where this story is going?

“I’m learning the lingo of Tweeting, now that Chipper’s on the Twitter,” said Gonalez, who is about as anti-Twitter as anyone under the age of 50. “I’m sitting there last night with the kids; my kids are following him. I’m watching the gymnasts and the swimming, and here comes Chipper’s Tweet – my son Alex is reading it to me – ‘Minor was good, Kimbrel was dirty or whatever, and Blanton pitched pretty good. Gonna go see the doc tomorrow morning.’ I’m going, oh s—. ‘Got a date with the doc.’?”

Gonzalez said he tossed and turned all night, worried.

“So I come into today and I go up to Bubba [Braves head trainer Jeff Porter] and say, ‘Bubba, what’s Chipper going to the doc about?’ And I tell him the story,” Gonzalez said. “ Then I put two and two together – it’s Doc Halladay.

“God almighty, this Tweeting stuff is going to kill me.”

• Today’s matchup: It’s Huddy vs. Doc. Tim Hudson vs. Roy Halladay, that is.

Halladay has no decisions and a 6.55 ERA and .302 opponents’ average in two starts since returning from the DL for a strained shoulder. He’s allowed an un-Doc-like 13 hits and eight runs in 11 innings against the Dodgers and Brewers, albeit with only one walk and nine strikeouts.

Halladay was 4-1 with a 1.78 ERA in seven career starts against the Braves before giving up 12 hits and eight runs in in 5-1/3 innings of a May 2 game at Philly, when Brian McCann hit a grand slam off Doc and the Braves came from a 6-0 deficit to win 15-13 in 11 innings, snapping an eight-game skid against the Phillies.

The Braves lost to the Phillies the next day but have beaten them five in a row since then while posting a 1.60 ERA and limiting the Phillies to a total of eight runs.

Against Halladay, Chipper is 8-for-16 with two homers, McCann is 9-for-23 with a homer, and Freddie Freeman is 4-for-10 with a homer. Oh, and here’s good news for hopeful Braves fans: Uggla is 10-for-28 (.357) with three homers off Halladay.

Hudson is 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA in his past four starts, including three quality starts of 7 or 7-1/3 innings in which he pitched 90 or fewer innings. The efficiency is evident in the fact the ol sinkerballer has but eight strikeouts and six walks in 25-1/3 innings of his past four starts. Groundballs, baby.

Hudson is 4-4 with a 2.93 ERA in 11 starts vs. Philly, including 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA in five during the 2011-2012 seasons. In his only start against them this season, he pitched scoreless innings (four hits, one walk, no strikeouts) in a July 6 win.

Ryan Howard is 19-for-55 (.345) with six homers off Hudson, while Jimmy Rollins is just 13-for-67 (.194) against him.

• Bench help? Braves are keeping tight lid on possible bench and/or bullpen trade targets, but it’s known they’ve expressed interest in Mets outfielder Scott Hairston. He’d be a good pickup, particularly with Matt Diaz injured. Hairston has hit .258 overall with 12 homers, .299 OBP and .511 slugging in 221 at-bats for Mets, but against lefties he’s hit .308 (37-for-120) with nine homers, a .341 OBP and .617 slugging (.958 OPS).

• OK, let’s get this up so you can read it before first pitch. I’ll close with a fine tune from one of the best songwriters few people have heard. This guy’s really strong. William Elliott Whitmore doing “Old Devils,” which you can hear by clicking here (I like the album version better, but you can get a good feel for the guy by watching him do this version live at a radio station).

309-wew1

“OLD DEVILS” by William Elliott Whitmore

The old devils are at it again.
Who knows what they’ll do.
It’s true right now like it was back then.
The old devils are at it again.
From behind these bars the view don’t change.
Desperation death and despair.
From what little I hear of the outside world.
Well it’s not to different out there.
And they tell me there’s a war without no end.

The old devils are at it again.
They die by the millions children women and men.
The old devils are at it again.
When I say devil you know
Who I mean these animals in the dark
Malicious politicians with nefarious schemes
Charlatans and crooked cops
The moonshine still gives you five to ten

The old devils are at it again.
Stripes on your back and a ball and chain
The old devils are at it again.
Two men stare out of prison bars wonderin’ what got ‘em here.
One saw mud but the other saw stars.
Prayin’ that the end is near.
Well the billboard outside says “confess your sins”
The old devils are at it again.
I guess I will confess that I’ve been sufferin’.

The old devils are at it again.
I said ‘The old devils are at it again’.
Who knows what they’ll do.
And it’s true right now like it was back then.
The old devils are at it again.
I said ‘The old devils are at it again’.
Oh oh…

– David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

1,577 comments Add your comment

eskippy

July 29th, 2012
1:26 pm

JipWiz

July 29th, 2012
1:28 pm

Bama Brave

July 29th, 2012
1:29 pm

Venice Jim

July 29th, 2012
1:29 pm

Thanks, DOB!

BFChris27

July 29th, 2012
1:30 pm

Thanks for new blog!!!!!!

BFChris27

July 29th, 2012
1:32 pm

Kathy

July 29th, 2012
1:32 pm

I thought the same thing when I read Chipper’s tweet about the Doc at first. Then I calmed down and figured out he meant Halladay, luckily! Send poor Uggs to the slump doc, let’s get him right again!!!

JC Brave

July 29th, 2012
1:33 pm

Dan Struggla

July 29th, 2012
1:33 pm

Like I said on the previous blog, Fredi’s in love with the guy (since his Miami days) and he’ll continue to trot him out there.

ChattTownBrian

July 29th, 2012
1:33 pm

Uggla slumping, we are winning – very clear sign we do not need this guy.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

July 29th, 2012
1:34 pm

DOB Against Halladay, Chipper is 8-for-16 with two homers, McCann is 9-for-23 with a homer, and Freddie Freeman is 4-for-10 with a homer. Oh, and here’s good news for hopeful Braves fans: Uggla is 10-for-28 (.357) with three homers off Halladay.

Nice! Wish BMac was playing today…

nolie

July 29th, 2012
1:36 pm

thank you for the new blog

ACE

July 29th, 2012
1:36 pm

Keep running him out there, for how long?

Keith

July 29th, 2012
1:36 pm

DOB,

Any word on what possible reliever we could look at acquiring?

Go BRAVES! :)

Oh, and good work.

BravesFanInBama

July 29th, 2012
1:37 pm

I get where FG is saying that they are “still winning” with Uggla getting 3-5 outs a game…But wouldn’t he be more excited to see Uggla getting 2-3 hits a game and HELPING the team win more consistently? The last time Uggla hate a multi hit game? The epic come back win against the Nats. If Uggla struck out 5-6 times that night, would that win ever of happened? There has got to be SOMETHING that can be done about Uggla. His swing has not changed the entire slump. He is still swinging with all arms and falling back on his swing. I am DEFINITELY not a swing coach, but Walker is and Chipper almost is. Please guys, HELP UGGLA! When he is actually hitting, he really is VERY fun to watch.

FBYJ

July 29th, 2012
1:37 pm

6th! Enjoyed a great game at The Ted last night. Hope today’s goes equally well.

Keith

July 29th, 2012
1:38 pm

We should remind the fans that Bobby would have probably done the same thing. Those trusted veterans got a late of patience…sometimes it paid off and sometimes it didn’t. Either way, I think it’s the right strategy for a veteran. Maybe give him a few days off here and there, see what happens.

Pace

July 29th, 2012
1:38 pm

DOB – thanks for asking the question on Uggla, the answers were insightful too. Now I understand why Fredi keeps running him out there, he’s gonna bust out of this soon :)

Jerry

July 29th, 2012
1:38 pm

Every time Ross catches, he is still hitting behind Uggla in the lineup. Ross is so much better than Uggla at this point.

ACE

July 29th, 2012
1:38 pm

Last year when Jason was struggling Fredi benched him and said he was going to use players that would help win games. With Uggla he is just going to wait it out. We all hope Uggla will get on a hot streak but how long do you wait.

nolie

July 29th, 2012
1:38 pm

Hairston or Reed Johnson. do it now

Chiricahua Brave

July 29th, 2012
1:38 pm

Wow. If anyone is more clueless than Uggla it has to be Freddi.

David O'Brien

July 29th, 2012
1:39 pm

Halladay needs 1 K to become 3rd 5th active pitcher w/ 2,000 K’s. Only two have reached 2,000 faster than Halladay. Sabathia is one, and you’ll never, ever guess o w/out looking up.

I’ll give you 50 choices. Don’t look it up now. No cheating.

optimist

July 29th, 2012
1:39 pm

nolie,
reading some of your posts over time… were you somehow involved in scouting Chipper?

archie

July 29th, 2012
1:39 pm

Yes, thanks to the imploding Phillies, the dysfunctional Marlins and the mediocre Mets….the Braves have indeed done well during Uggla’s mega-slump. So the Frediot can justify his Ugg-love this way.

Let’s see how well that works during the drive to post-season and beyond. 3 strikeouts a night, a failure to advance and drive in baserunners, and no range in the field. That could be a factor in October.

VA Braves Fan

July 29th, 2012
1:39 pm

Fredi is hopeless.

ChattTownBrian

July 29th, 2012
1:40 pm

“What is it called … a tweet, a twit” That what Joe Simpson just said.

Capt.Mudd

July 29th, 2012
1:40 pm

Thanks for new blog DOB.

nolie

July 29th, 2012
1:40 pm

no but friends were and I saw him every season as he came up through the system, my favorite Brave of all time.

BFChris27

July 29th, 2012
1:40 pm

The Diamondbacks have acquired third baseman Chris Johnson from the Astros for minor league outfielders Marc Krauss and Bobby Borchering, the teams announced. Borchering, 21, was Arizona’s first round pick in the 2009 draft while Krauss, 24, was taken in the second round of the same draft.

ChattTownBrian

July 29th, 2012
1:41 pm

Pace

July 29th, 2012
1:42 pm

DOB – an ex-Brave – Millwood right?

ChattTownBrian

July 29th, 2012
1:42 pm

I’ll go Jamie Moyer, but is he even still pitching.

Tampa Gator

July 29th, 2012
1:42 pm

I am sorry…..how could Gonzalez not have known what that tweet meant. Oh my gosh……I sure hope he is a lot brighter than that while trying come up with strategies in the dugout during baseball games.

P.S. Uggla is more valuable doing what he is doing on the field than Pastornicky would ever be doing what he does. I have a feeling Uggla is going to break out in August and September and carry the Braves to the playoffs……or am I just having a typical Dawg fan summer dream?

nolie

July 29th, 2012
1:43 pm

not sure how much faith I have in Huddy against the Phils

ChattTownBrian

July 29th, 2012
1:43 pm

Pace, CHEATER!

Mark

July 29th, 2012
1:43 pm

Dadgum umpire is tight!!

Tampa Gator

July 29th, 2012
1:44 pm

Why would anyone want to trade for anyone on the Astros?

ChattTownBrian

July 29th, 2012
1:44 pm

nolie, or Mr. Negative

TheOnlyBravesFan

July 29th, 2012
1:44 pm

Thanks for the new blog DOB.

Pace

July 29th, 2012
1:44 pm

No – I read it last night, there was a post on the blog about us picking him up (joking I think) but I read his stats – just dumb luck.

Venice Jim

July 29th, 2012
1:45 pm

Jon Morosi ‏@jonmorosi
Mike Trout scratched from #Angels lineup today with left knee contusion. Team says he is day to day.

Might be a good time to pick him up cheap…

David O'Brien

July 29th, 2012
1:45 pm

I rephrased the question — it’s only two active pitchers have reached 2,000 faster than Halladay. (There are four active pitchers with more than 2,000 strikeouts.)

TheOnlyBravesFan

July 29th, 2012
1:45 pm

D. Ross is amazing…. better than BMac

Pace

July 29th, 2012
1:46 pm

Nice throw Rossi!!!!!

BFChris27

July 29th, 2012
1:46 pm

Rossy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Venice Jim

July 29th, 2012
1:46 pm

Great throw!!! (no offense)…

Keith

July 29th, 2012
1:46 pm

I’ll take a guess that it’s Moyer due to longevity. He may have well over that actually…since you said “you’d never guess it.”

Dunno..

Jerry

July 29th, 2012
1:46 pm

Wow, throws don’t get any better than that one to get Victorino.

archie

July 29th, 2012
1:46 pm

Sure wish we could have Ross’s catching and McCann’s bat in the lineup every day. But that ship has sailed.

Capt.Mudd

July 29th, 2012
1:46 pm

On the money by Ross…hope he has a good day at plate too.

Mark

July 29th, 2012
1:46 pm

Nice throw Rossy

Quick release and on the money

The Dude Abides... Still

July 29th, 2012
1:46 pm

Venice.. that was a joke right?

Tampa Gator

July 29th, 2012
1:47 pm

Jerry…

You can’t put Uggla and Janish back to back in the lineup…followed by the pitcher. That is a guaranteed 3 up and 3 down right now.

TheOnlyBravesFan

July 29th, 2012
1:47 pm

really think the Bravos need to pick up a SP (duh)… the 2010 team was already leading the division (or pretty close to it) at the deadline… they just needed some extra pieces. We need to catch up.

Mikeyc588

July 29th, 2012
1:47 pm

I guess Jamie Moyer isn’t “active”? Or Pettitte?

nolie

July 29th, 2012
1:47 pm

Mr. Reverse Jinx to you dude….

Venice Jim

July 29th, 2012
1:48 pm

I suspect so…

TheOnlyBravesFan

July 29th, 2012
1:48 pm

Sure wish we could have Ross’s catching and McCann’s bat in the lineup every day. But that ship has sailed.

The NL needs the DH :mrgreen:

Tampa Gator

July 29th, 2012
1:48 pm

The reason Ross is such a good catcher……he played baseball at the University of Florida. Go Gators.

bravesgrl4life

July 29th, 2012
1:48 pm

It is really sad. Huddy has a .200 avg and Uggla only .209. Frightening :eek:

nolie

July 29th, 2012
1:49 pm

Bourn under 300. guy is falling apart. soon will be back to a 90 OPS+ trade him for a starter :(

Keith

July 29th, 2012
1:49 pm

OH, just checked Moyer on the DL.

And by the way, he has like 2,400+ :)

Jerry

July 29th, 2012
1:49 pm

Hey nolie, hypothetical situation. Wren has a chance to trade Delgado to the Cubs for Dempster and Reed Johnson. Do you make that trade? I’m on the fence a little. I don’t wanna give up Delgado and get Dempster, but I really want Johnson. Is it worth it?

TheOnlyBravesFan

July 29th, 2012
1:50 pm

GONE!!!! JHEY!

Venice Jim

July 29th, 2012
1:50 pm

Pace

July 29th, 2012
1:50 pm

DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP – ok JHEY!!!! :)

Chris from the Rock

July 29th, 2012
1:50 pm

bravesgrl4life

July 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

HEYWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keith

July 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

Re: nolie

You are off your rocker about Bourn. He’s been our MVP this year by far. Last week he had a game winning hit. He usually fluctuates around .300 or a little below. He will be fine.

I love knee-jerk fans in a game with 162 games. Irony kills me.

Go BRAVES! :)

TNScott

July 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

nolie

July 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

Heyward is such a bumb

Bama Brave

July 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

JHEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NORRIS

July 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

basically your looking at the braves have only 6 innings to score runs because the bottom 3 never get on.

JC Brave

July 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

BOOM!

Go Braves!

Bravefaninok

July 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

Damn first pitch swingin……ohhhh nevermind,WTG J-Hey!

LAG

July 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

Wind resistance? What wind resistance?

TheOnlyBravesFan

July 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

Bourn under 300. guy is falling apart. soon will be back to a 90 OPS+ trade him for a starter

Pay him 15 mil nolie??? lol

B_F 54

July 29th, 2012
1:52 pm

J Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey!!!

BFChris27

July 29th, 2012
1:52 pm

JHey!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Old Man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Venice Jim

July 29th, 2012
1:52 pm

Nice job, Chipper!

Jerry

July 29th, 2012
1:52 pm

I was just thinking that Halladay is looking good early and then Heyward steps up and I thought, wasn’t it Halladay that Heyward hit a homer off the first time he saw him? And bam, there it goes.

Mark

July 29th, 2012
1:52 pm

Jhey smoked that one.

Did you notice how he was busting it out of the box when he hit it.

Great job!!!

JC Brave

July 29th, 2012
1:53 pm

I love knee-jerk fans in a game with 162 games.

Every game counts. Ask the 2011 Atlanta Braves, If you have any doubts.

TheOnlyBravesFan

July 29th, 2012
1:53 pm

Amaro: I wouldn’t mind if you traded Victorino and Pence like right now…. get them out of the game ;)

Jerry

July 29th, 2012
1:53 pm

My bad, it was Freeman. But now it’s Heyward also.

nolie

July 29th, 2012
1:53 pm

Bourn is a bumb. trade him for Dempster and Johnson.

The Dude Abides... Still

July 29th, 2012
1:53 pm

You have to be kidding. There is no way that McCann would be your everyday DH in the American League.

Be A Grinderer

July 29th, 2012
1:54 pm

Not what you want to hear from Fredi. He is fine with Uggla not hitting. That’s sad. Can we get a new manager and a new 2b ?

Jerry

July 29th, 2012
1:54 pm

First and second and in an ideal world Ross should be coming up, but it’s Uggla instead to kill the rally.

TheOnlyBravesFan

July 29th, 2012
1:54 pm

don’t swing 1st pitch Dan >.<

Get a hit right here… PLEASE

JC Brave

July 29th, 2012
1:54 pm

wasn’t it Halladay that Heyward hit a homer off the first time he saw him?

That was Freddie.

TheOnlyBravesFan

July 29th, 2012
1:54 pm

YEAH!!!! Dan Uggla is back!

Venice Jim

July 29th, 2012
1:54 pm

BFChris27

July 29th, 2012
1:54 pm

Uggla!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pace

July 29th, 2012
1:55 pm

Uggs – nice job, let’s hope this is a start!!!

TNScott

July 29th, 2012
1:55 pm

nolie

July 29th, 2012
1:55 pm

who was that guy who hit that double?

bravesgrl4life

July 29th, 2012
1:55 pm

The Doc is good for Uggla!!!

Bama Brave

July 29th, 2012
1:55 pm

OMG UGGLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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