PITTSBURGH – The gash on Braves second baseman Dan Uggla’s right hand didn’t keep him out of the lineup for the past week, but the swelling that ensued after Sunday night’s flight to Pittsburgh did the trick.
Uggla was scratched from the lineup for Monday’s series opener against the Pirates due to swelling around three staples that held together a cut on his right hand.
He cut his hand above the first knuckle on his index finger during the Braves’ postgame celebration a week ago after they clinched a wild-card playoff berth. Uggla reached into a cooler and apparently sliced his hand on a glass someone had dropped inside.
“We’ll give him a day to kind of settle that down and see what happens tomorrow,” said manager Fredi Gonzalez, who thinks Uggla will be back in the lineup Tuesday for the Braves’ next-to-last game of the regular season. “Bubba [head trainer Jeff Porter] said let’s be proactive an keep anything else from happening with it.
“It must have been [bad] enough, because Danny didn’t even fight me over it this time.”
Uggla prefers to play every day and is known for lobbying to be in the lineup whenever Gonzalez tries to rest him or give him a day to heal from a nagging injury. He was benched for three days last month during a long slump, but has had a hitting resurgence and started 23 consecutive games before Monday.
Uggla hit .300 with a .412 on-base percentage, .471 slugging percentage and 16 strikeouts in his past 21 games, after hitting .151 with a .299 OBP, .275 slugging percentage and 90 strikeouts in his previous 77 games.
Gonzalez said the medical staff didn’t mention any possibility of infection causing the swelling. Uggla did some light throwing but no hitting before the decision to scratch him was announced during batting practice.