Braves suspend Uggla one game, add Gosselin
Sources indicate veteran second baseman was late to game Saturday
CHICAGO -- When it was revealed in May that the Braves were not willing to make the seemingly sensible decision to release Dan Uggla, there was reason to wonder when the frustration of being a seldom-used bench player would lead him to cause a problem in the clubhouse.
Some indication was provided on Sunday when the Braves suspended Uggla for one game. Though manager Fredi Gonzalez opted not to discuss the matter, multiple sources have said Uggla arrived late for Saturday afternoon's game against the Cubs.
While it may not be the first time Uggla has arrived late, Gonzalez did not provide any answers. Uggla, who was not permitted to be at Wrigley Field on Sunday, was unavailable for comment.
"I'm not gonna say anything, other than it's an internal matter," Gonzalez said. "That's the way I like to handle stuff, and that's the way the Atlanta Braves like to handle things and that's it.
"You can ask me that question 400 ways and my answer is gonna be that we'll handle it internally."
The Braves had an open roster spot because right-hander Pedro Beato was optioned to the Minors on Saturday, so they called up infielder Philip Gosselin from Triple-A Gwinnett to essentially take Uggla's place for a day.
Gosselin, who was recently named to the International League All-Star Game, was batting .345 with five home runs, 30 RBIs and 56 runs scored this season while playing mostly second base.
"He's had a terrific first half of the Triple-A season," Gonzalez said. "We'll see if he can help us win a ballgame today, whether he's off the bench or pinch-hitting or defense or any of that stuff.
"[Gosselin] is a super-utility guy because he can play the outfield and he can handle the bat, too. He's gotten used to that role."
Uggla is owed approximately $20 million until his contract expires at the conclusion of the 2015 season. While many fans have said the Braves should simply see this as a sunk cost and release the veteran second baseman, the club does not share this view.
Sources have indicated that releasing Uggla would impact some of the club's other financial commitments and loans.
The Braves have been unsuccessful in their attempts to try to trade Uggla this past offseason. While they would still love to move him, they certainly are not finding much of a market for a 34-year-old veteran who has batted .074 with a .242 on-base percentage in the 33 plate appearances he has totaled dating back to May 6.
Uggla has batted .182 with a .646 OPS in his past 284 games. Just two years ago, he was elected to serve as the National League's starting second baseman in the All-Star Game.
Gonzalez doesn't believe the discipline will become a distraction or a problem in the Braves' clubhouse.
"I have a pretty good pulse of our clubhouse, and I just came in and made a quick pass around the clubhouse," he said about two hours before the game. "If anybody wants to talk to me, my door is always open and they know that. So far, right now I haven't gotten anything.
"Again, we like to handle our stuff internally. I think that's the best way to do it. Anytime you start airing things publicly, that's not good for anybody. We'll keep it internally, keep it as a family and we'll go from there."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.