PHILADELPHIA -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez informed Dan Uggla before Monday night's game that he would not be in Tuesday night's starting lineup. After halting his struggles with a two-hit game on Monday, Uggla proved unsuccessful in his attempt to get Gonzalez to change his mind.
Gonzalez has been encouraged by some of the progress Uggla has made over the past couple of weeks. This is part of the reason he did not have any desire to give him a chance to alter his luck against Cole Hamels, who started on Tuesday for the Phillies. Uggla has batted .145 (8-for-55) with two homers in his career against Hamels.
"I told him I think he's had some great at-bats, but I didn't want Hamels [messing] him up," Gonzalez said. "It's like having good at-bats, and then you face a knuckleballer and they screw you up for a while."
Uggla was appreciative that Gonzalez informed him of his plans for Tuesday before Monday night's game. Since collecting four hits, including two home runs, in a June 5 win over the Marlins, Uggla has notched two multihit games, including Monday night's performance. In the 51 games played since then, he has batted .136 with two home runs, a .298 on-base percentage and a .213 slugging percentage.
"When you've been going as bad as I've been going, a lineout is going in the right direction," Uggla said. "It's been a grind to be me. Even when I've struggled in the past, I'm still hitting homers and driving people in."
Uggla has been working on regaining his timing with hitting coach Greg Walker. Much of the focus has been placed on getting his toe tap in sync again.
"I feel great in [batting practice] and I feel great in [soft toss] and everything I do," Uggla said. "It's just a matter of doing it in a game. Any time you get two hits in a game, it boosts your confidence level. I've been feeling better. I'm just going to keep rolling with it."