When I heard this morning, that the Atlanta Braves did not include second baseman Dan Uggla on their National League Divisional Series roster, my first inclination was that he was hurt. He wasn’t.
The Braves did not include the three-time All-Star on their 25-man roster because of his .179 batting average – the lowest among major league qualifiers this season.
Uggla, now 33, hit 22 home runs this season for the Braves, which ranked third on the team, and according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the front office struggled mightily with the decision to exclude him from their post season roster.
The righthanded slugger had laser eye surgery in August with the hope it would improve his batting average. But instead he batted just .122 after he returned from the disabled list.
The Braves instead will go with Elliot Johnson at second base and be backed up by utility infielder Paul Janish. Johnson is a 29-year old career journeyman who has a career .214 batting average in parts of five seasons with three different organizations.
At a salary of $13 million this season, Uggla is the highest paid player on the Braves. You have to respect Atlanta for going this way. It sets an example and shows that they demand accountability. They had only one motivation here and clearly it was a commitment to winning.
If the Mets were in the same exact position (if only!) would they have done the same with Ike Davis – all things being equal? Would they have left him off the roster and started Josh Satin at first base instead?
It’s a question that we’ll never know the answer to, but it’s interesting to consider all the same.