MIAMI -- After Dan Uggla began wearing contacts on June 20, he spent more than a week attempting to find the right prescription for both eyes. But when Uggla hit Kyle Kendrick's cutter over Citizens Bank Park's left-center-field wall during Saturday's 13-4 win over the Phillies, he was confident that he had found what he needed to end the vision problems he experienced through this season's first half.
"I've been taking [that cutter] all year," Uggla said. "Or if I get two strikes, I'm late on it with a panicked, ugly swing. But [on Saturday], I saw it."
Despite being diagnosed with astigmatism during Spring Training, Uggla waited until the regular season was nearly halfway complete before he decided to do something about the blurred vision that was leading him to miss hittable pitches and duck away from breaking balls that were called strikes.
Uggla hit .194 with 13 home runs and a .715 OPS in the 67 games he played before getting his vision checked again. Over the course of the 12 games he played leading into Monday, he batted .277 with three home runs and a .901 OPS.
"There are some at-bats when it does not feel like it's quite there," Uggla said. "But more times than not, it's night-and-day different."
While Uggla has struggled to show consistency at the plate throughout this season, his team-leading 16 home runs provide an indication that he still possesses the power that he displayed while hitting at least 30 home runs in five consecutive seasons (2007-11).
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.