As the only team in baseball's postseason to have two $13 million players hitting .179 (Dan Uggla) and .184 (B.J. Upton) respectively the Braves face some unexpected decisions today: To bench or not to bench their two highest paid players and who had very little to do with them winning the National League East Division? The Braves who open their N.L. divisional series Thursday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers haven't announced their 25-man roster yet. They likely won't until Wednesday's open workout at Turner Field. But Mark Bowman of MLB.com is reporting that the team has decided to leave Uggla off the roster and likely go with a 12-man pitching staff pending the health of reliever Jordan Walden. An excerpt from Bowman's blog: Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez met with some players regarding roster decisions after the team held a workout that was closed to media members on Tuesday at Turner Field. An industry source said Uggla was informed that he will not be part of the 25-man roster the Braves will use during their best-of-five NLDS matchup against the Dodgers. ... Before making anything official on Wednesday the Braves will first evaluate the health of some of the players including right-handed reliever Jordan Walden who has been ineffective in three of the four appearances he has made since missing three weeks with a strained groin. ... If Uggla is indeed left off the roster the Braves could go with a 12-man pitching staff which could provide some insurance in the event that Walden’s struggles continue. Some thoughts: It's difficult to mount much of an argument against either Uggla or Upton being left off the playoff roster. They've been miserable. Uggla has delivered in power (77 homers) in his first three seasons as a Brave but his batting averages have been anemic and declined each season: .233 .220 and .179. He went to the extent of having Lasik surgery during the season but that hasn't helped. He's hitting .137 with runners in scoring position and .169 with men on base. He also tied his career high of 171 strikeouts despite having a career-low 537 plate appearances. Upton has been a disaster since signing a franchise record five-year $75.25 million contract. His .184 average is 71 points below his career average in Tampa Bay ( .255). He fell from 28 homers and 78 runs batted in his final season with the Rays to nine homers and 26 RBI this year with the Braves. His batting average with runners in scoring position: an implausible .108.
Braves reportedly may bench Dan Uggla in NLDS
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Oct 2