Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) talks to the umpire after getting hit by a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field. Uggla was put on the 15-day DL on Tuesday.
ATLANTA — In the midst of the worst season of his career, Braves second baseman Dan Uggla will have laser eye surgery that will keep him out of the lineup for at least the next two weeks.
Uggla was placed on the 15-day disabled list, and Tyler Pastornicky was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to start Tuesday night’s game against the Phillies at Turner Field. Atlanta won, 3-1.
Uggla will have surgery in two or three days, and the Braves think he’ll be able to recover quickly, play in a few minor league games and return to the active roster in 15 days or shortly thereafter.
“It was a mutual decision,” said Uggla, who ranks second among Braves with 21 home runs and leads the team with 62 walks, but has the lowest average (.186) among major league qualifiers and most strikeouts (146) in the National League. “Obviously I don’t want to go on the DL whatsoever, but at the same time you’ve got to do what’s best for the team right now.
“I’ve been struggling pretty bad and battling with the contacts and grinding with those things day in and day out. I think the best thing to do is just go ahead and do it now.”
Uggla had hoped to put off surgery until after the season, but because of his astigmatism, contact lenses weren’t working.
“He tried it — the whole thing,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “It’s a process with the contacts and trying to get it (right). We reached — the team and also Danny — reached a point where ‘let’s just get it done’ and also have enough time where he could get some at-bats (in the minors) and get used to it.”
They wanted to make sure Uggla was ready to play some injury-rehab games before their minor league affiliates completed their seasons in a few weeks.
Uggla hit .140 with five homers and 39 strikeouts in his past 31 games, including 2-for-41 with two singles and two RBIs in his last 12.
“I’ve said it before, your eyes are the most important thing in hitting a baseball,” said Braves catcher Brian McCann, who battled vision problems for a couple of seasons before getting to a comfortable place after two rounds of laser surgery and a remedy for an unrelated dry-eye condition.