Dan Uggla's reign of terror as the Braves' starting second baseman may soon be coming to an end.
MLB.com's Mark Bowman said "it appears the Braves are planning to continue giving Ramiro Pena and Tyler Pastornicky time at second over the next couple of weeks," leaving the 34-year-old Uggla's future with the club uncertain. Uggla is batting .184/.241/.272 in 103 at-bats this season.
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Asked about the bevy of underwhelming options at second base, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez didn't offer much in the way of an endorsement for any of the candidates.
"We'll just see how it goes," Gonzalez said.
That it took this long for the Braves to ditch the second baseman is surprising. Uggla's power numbers have been in decline since 2010, his OPS dropping from .877 to a career-low .671 last season. This year, Uggla is sporting a .513 OPS.
Unfortunately for the Braves, their other major league options aren't much better. Pena is hitting .229 with a .289 on-base percentage and a .457 slugging percentage that's substantially higher than his .335 career line. Pastornicky's career .249/.295/.330 line doesn't inspire much confidence, either.
The option that would most move the needle is prospect Tommy La Stella. The 25-year-old hit .356/.444/.492 in the minors last season, and he's batting .300/.372/.327 in 110 at-bats this year.
The Braves likely won't make the move for La Stella right away -- as Bowman notes, a roster crunch would leave the team severely limited for backups at other positions barring them flat-out waiving Uggla -- but it's likely just a matter of time before the team decides to infuse some offense at the position. As for Uggla, it appears his time has come and gone.
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Arenado Shatters Rockies Mark
Michael Cuddyer didn't have much time to enjoy setting a Rockies record.
Just a year after Cuddyer had a Rockies team record 27-game hitting streak, Nolan Arenado surpassed that mark in his 37th game of the season Thursday. Arenado's single in the third inning ran his streak to 28 games, setting a new club record and getting halfway -- halfway! -- to Joe DiMaggio's 56-game record.
Arenado is hitting .360 during the 28-game streak, batting .322/.344/.527 overall. Among National League hitters, Arenado is eighth in the league in average and third in runs batted in, with 26 RBI. Arenado hit just .267/.301/.405 in his rookie season last year, but the 23-year-old had a career .299 average and .818 OPS in the minors, so he's not in completely foreign territory.
He may not be as good as he's running right now, but he's not as pedestrian as his 2013 line suggested, either. A line somewhere in between, while playing Gold Glove defense at third, is an output the Rockies will take. That sort of production in Coors Field is something fantasy owners will take as well.
What's That Odor?
Tommy La Stella might not be up soon, but another second base prospect got the call from his club Thursday.
With Donnie Murphy going down and Jurickson Profar still sidelined, the Rangers called on Rougned Odor to fill in at the keystone for the next few weeks. And Rangers manager Ron Washington wasted little time getting him into the game -- Odor, a left-handed hitter, started against Rockies southpaw Franklin Morales on Thursday, finishing 0-for-4.
Washington said he's going to get Odor into the lineup regularly, projecting four or five starts per week for the top prospect.
"I'm going to let him face (left-handers and right-handers) and then make a decision," Washington told MLB.com. "If there is an issue, one will get right-handers and one will get left-handers. Right now, I'm going to let him face them all."
Odor was hitting .279/.314.450 with Double-A Frisco after being named the Rangers' Minor League Player of the Year last season. Heading into this season, Odor was rated as the No. 39 prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus.
He'll likely be returned to the minors when Profar returns -- and he's expected to take part in extended spring training games in Arizona next week -- but Odor will get the lion's share of the at-bats in a strong Rangers offense in the meantime. And that's worth an add in AL-only leagues and likely deeper mixed leagues as well.
National League Quick Hits: Matt Cain (finger) has been cleared to make his scheduled start on Saturday. Cain missed his previous two starts after cutting his index finger with a kitchen knife ... Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) won't be so lucky. The left-hander isn't expected to be back after his 15-day disabled list stint is up. Ryu has been cleared to resume throwing but has yet to do so, as the Dodgers exercise caution with the starter ... Justin Morneau missed Thursday's game with a stiff neck. After the game, Rockies manager Walt Weiss said the move was precautionary and he'd likely be back in the lineup on Friday ... Jimmy Rollins (groin) may not be ready to play shortstop when the Phillies face the Mets this weekend. Rollins has served as the team's designated hitter the past two days while the team took on the Blue Jays ... Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Thursday that Joe Kelly could be out until June, as his hamstring injury isn't progressing as hoped. In the same conversation, Mozeliak said Jaime Garcia's next rehab start will be Sunday or Monday, with his following start possibly being at the major league level ... Ian Kennedy hit a home run and struck out 12 over seven innings but didn't factor in Thursday's decision. It's tough to win when you're your own best source of run support.
American League Quick Hits: Chris Davis (oblique) is scheduled to take live batting practice on the field Friday. It will be his first BP since straining the oblique on April 26, and if all goes well he could be back with the team next week ... Brett Lawrie (hamstring) still "may be a couple of days" away from a return to the lineup, according to Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. Lawrie has been sidelined since Monday, and he'll be re-evaluated on Friday ... Omar Infante (back) is also at least a day away from returning. Royals manager Ned Yost said the second baseman won't be back in the lineup until Saturday at the earliest ... Taijuan Walker (shoulder) will throw a bullpen session on Sunday, his first since being shut down from his rehab assignment. It's been a frustrating season thus far for the 21-year-old, who can't seem to get his shoulder healthy ... George Springer broke through with his first major league home run on Thursday ... Adam Lind was activated from the disabled list Thursday and went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in his return ... James Paxton (lat) will throw a bullpen session on Friday. It'll be his first time throwing from a mound since sustaining the injury in early April ... Dylan Bundy threw 50 pitches in a bullpen session on Thursday. He'll throw live batting practice on Tuesday, and he could be back pitching in rehab games in two weeks. He could be a player for the Orioles in the second half ... Casey Janssen (oblique) will make his next and possibly last rehab appearance on Saturday before a potential activation early next week. Nobody is anticipating Janssen's return more than Sergio Santos, who was miserable as Janssen's fill in closing games for the Blue Jays.