Dan Uggla was out of the Braves lineup for the fifth time in the past 10 games Friday night, a pattern that is becoming familiar for the struggling veteran. Ramiro Pena was starting at second base against Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel.

Uggla’s past two starts have come against left-handers, Tyler Lyons of the Cardinals and Madison Bumgarner of the Giants.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez hasn’t wanted to label it a platoon and still doesn’t.

“I don’t want to get into it,” Gonzalez said. “I come in and whatever I think is the best lineup to win today’s game, that’s the way I make it out.”

Gonzalez said he does plan to sit down with Uggla soon and address the way he’s using him.

“I’ve not spoken to him about it at all, but I think we’ll talk soon,” Gonzalez said. “That’s the way I am; I like to tell guys. But I have not sat down with him.”

The Braves have prospect Tommy La Stella hitting .300 in 31 games in Triple-A Gwinnett and might eventually turn to him. But it’s unclear what they’d do with Uggla, who is still owed about $23 million for the remainder of this season and next. The same reason the Braves can’t trade him is why they don’t want to release him either.