Writer’s Note: This piece was written one day after the Braves’ 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, May 13th, a game in which Dan Uggla struck out three times with runners in scoring position—twice with runners on third and once to end the game, leaving the potential game tying runner stranded on second base. Some baseball fans choose to not pay attention to WPA because they say it’s not an effective way to measure a player, but, for those who do, Uggla’s was -.392 that night.

Sounds a little like another former All-Star that was traded to the Braves and couldn’t hit a pitch to save his life, doesn’t it?

Is it too early for a Nate McLouth comparison? Maybe not. Uggla is painfully close to breaking McLouth’s horrid .190 batting average from last season, while McLouth is reaching base on a nightly basis.

That’s a good sign for Uggla’s 2012 season, but what about this one?

To start the season, Uggla told Braves fans that they shouldn’t expect much from him in the month of April, as he never performs well at the start of the season.

Okay, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, he is a two-time All-Star and former Silver Slugger Award winner.

But last I checked, the calendar has changed to May and Uggla’s batting average is still going down. After starting in both games for the Braves’ old-fashioned doubleheader against the Brewers on May 4th, Uggla managed to pull his batting average up to .218.

True, .218 is nothing spectacular, but it doesn’t start with a one or a zero so Braves fans will take it.

But now, after their win against the Phillies on Saturday, May 14th, a game in which Uggla went 0-2, he is batting .196 and is almost a guaranteed out.

Unless he gets hit by a pitch (which is how he reached base in Saturday’s game). In fact, Uggla is swinging and missing at pitches that aren’t even close.

In striking out against pitcher Ryan Madson in the game on Friday the 13th, Uggla swung at a ball in the dirt and so far outside that it became painfully obvious to everyone watching that he is simply trying to swing at everything thrown his way in order to break out of his funk.

No one is saying the Braves should replace Uggla, especially not with his backup likely being Diory Hernandez, but he’d better find his swing quickly.

A subpar second basemen in the always tough NL East could be a death sentence for the Braves, a team many analysts picked to reach the postseason again this season.

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