CHICAGO — Dan Uggla’s future in Atlanta was in question Sunday after the Braves suspended the struggling second baseman for their final game before the All-Star break.
The team announced the suspension on its Twitter feed, with no further explanation. Manager Fredi Gonzalez also declined to elaborate when asked about the punishment before the Braves’ 10-7 victory at the Chicago Cubs.
“I’m not going to say anything other than that it’s an internal matter,” he said. “That’s the way I like to handle stuff, and the Atlanta Braves like to handle stuff. And that’s it. You can ask me 400 different ways, and my way is that we’re going to handle it internally.”
The 34-year-old Uggla has played sparingly since rookie Tommy La Stella was promoted from Class AAA Gwinnett on May 28. The three-time All-Star is batting .162 with two homers and 10 RBI in 48 games.
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The Braves acquired Uggla in a November 2010 trade with the Marlins, and then signed the three-time All-Star to a $62 million, five-year contract before his first game with Atlanta. He is slated to make $13 million next year in his final season under the deal.
Home Run Derby not for everyone
It’s supposed to be fun, and entertaining.
Gather some of Major League Baseball’s most feared sluggers, surround them with All-Star teammates egging them on, pump up the volume on the stadium music, and tell the participants to hammer the ball as long and high as possible for the enjoyment and amazement of all.
That’s the Home Run Derby, the centerpiece of festivities leading up to Tuesday All-Star Game.
But as simple as it sounds, plenty of debate has swirled around the competition. Some players and coaches fear too many big swings can lead to bad habits, fatigue and even injury.
This year, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels each had one player invited to participate.
Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers accepted; Mike Trout of the Angels declined.
Trout said he took part in a home-run contest when he was playing at the Class A level in the minor leagues, and he conceded that “it didn’t affect my swing.” But he did express concern about the toll the competition could take on him.
“The biggest thing is just the big swings you take over a period of time; you can get beat up a little bit,” he said. “It’s tough on your body …”
• Cincinnati Reds right-hander Alfredo Simon was among four pitchers added to the National League team for the All-Star Game. San Francisco Giants right-handed pitcher Tim Hudson, San Diego Padres closer Huston Street and Washington Nationals right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard were also added. Simon replaces teammate Johnny Cueto, while Clippard replaces Atlanta Braves starter Julio Teheran. Street replaces Padres teammate Tyson Ross, and Hudson replaces Giants teammate Madison Bumgarner.
• The Angels placed outfielder Collin Cowgill on the 15-day disabled list with fractures to his nose and right thumb, and recalled infielder Grant Green from Class AAA Salt Lake. Cowgill was injured Saturday night when he missed a bunt. The pitch from Texas right-hander Matt West glanced off Cowgill’s thumb and hit him in the nose.