Braves second baseman Dan Uggla was told in Spring Training this year that he has an astigmatism in his eye and that he will be required to wear contact lenses in order to see.
After a few days, Uggla ditched the contacts and thing ended up for the worse for him. The hitting, which has been a struggle for Uggla since he put on a Braves uniform, started to decline and he was ducking out of the way on pitches that were inside (whether this was eye sight related or not, but still worth noting). After going through test after test, Uggla was fitted for a pair of contacts and it seemingly has turned out to be the better for him.
The month of June saw the highest batting average Uggla has seen all season, albeit just .250. However, during that month Uggla had an OBP of .394, slugged .452 and walked 20 times while still striking out a whopping 34 times.
July seems to be an even better start for Uggla since he got fitted for contacts, yet the batting average is still extremely low (hitting just .200 for the month of July). The good news is so far in the month of July, Uggla is slugging .467 with two home runs and seven knocked in the last seven games. However, he has struck out already nine times and only walked once.
I’m not sure about the rest of Braves’ country, but I’m still on the Dan Uggla train (maybe it’s because he’s from my home state..I don’t know). I know that it’s taken a couple of years for Uggla to finally figure out that he needed contacts, with the possibility of Lasik surgery, but this could be the turning point of Uggla’s career as a Brave.
Now that Uggla has figured out his problem (and I still can’t believe it took him this long), there really can’t be any excuse as to why he doesn’t unload on the pitches that brought him to Atlanta in the first place. There is going to be a point during the season where Uggla may be relied on to come through and now that he has the right vision to do so, it could spell trouble for opposing pitchers.