The Atlanta Braves have placed second baseman Dan Uggla on the 15-day DL following LASIK surgery, and have recalled Tyler Pastornicky from AAA Gwinnett to replace him on the active roster.
Uggla's vision has been an issue all season, and he's gone through numerous different contact lenses to attempt to correct his vision issues. The 33-year old's streakiness has hit rock bottom in August, as Uggla has hit just .054/.234/.054 in 47 August plate appearances. He was actually playing suitable baseball for the Braves from May to July, smashing 17 homers and posting a .209/.321/.455 line over the 77 game period from May 1st to July 31st.
Uggla's 31.7% strikeout rate this year is the highest of his career, though he's somewhat balanced it out by walking in 13.5% of his plate appearances. His 21 homers this year lead the Braves and he's already surpassed last season's homer total of 19.
Pastornicky isn't much of a replacement for Uggla, but with the Braves lapping the field in the NL East, think of it as an extended trial for a bench spot in Atlanta next year. In 74 games with AAA Gwinnett this season, Pastornicky has a .292/.354/.392 line with four homers and nine steals in 11 attempts, but he's struggled when getting the call to the majors. In 94 games in Atlanta and 215 plate appearances dating back to last season, Pastornicky is hitting just .249/.291/.326 with a pair of homers, getting virtually all of his playing time at shortstop. The 23-year old was acquired in 2010 from the Blue Jays as part of the Alex Gonzalez/Yunel Escobar trade.
Uggla is expected to be back in Atlanta's lineup before the postseason starts, and this surgery will hopefully be the final bump in the road towards fixing his vision for good. Early in their Braves careers, both Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman had numerous issues with their eyes that took numerous attempts to get corrected as well. Uggla is merely the latest in that line of Braves players with vision problems, and you need to wonder if he should have just gotten the surgery back in Spring Training instead of trying to mix and match various solutions over the last six months.