That didn't take long. According to Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Giants promoted veteran second baseman Dan Uggla to their major league roster on Friday, just four days after signing him to a minor league deal.
And they aren't wasting any time getting him in the lineup, either.
Tonight's #SFGiants lineup: Pence rf Blanco cf Posey 1b Sandoval 3b Morse lf Crawford ss Uggla 2b Sanchez c Lincecum p— #BeatLA (@SFGiants) July 25, 2014
The promotion caps a pretty wild two weeks for the 34-year-old. Uggla was released outright by the Atlanta Braves on July 18 after hitting .162/.241/.231 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 145 plate appearances. Though he'd lost his starting position to rookie Tommy LaStella leading up to his release, the Braves didn't seem overly motivated to cut ties until July 13, when Uggla was suspended one game for showing up late for an afternoon game at Wrigley Field.
Even then, the Braves used the All-Star break to mull over their options before ultimately deciding to eat the remaining $19 million on Uggla's contract.
It's difficult to imagine the player we're describing having much appeal to the 29 other teams around MLB. However, the Giants' second-base situation has been a problem all season with starter Marco Scutaro missing extended time with a back injury. Scutaro finally returned to action on July 12, but was only able to start three games and finish two. He was placed on the disabled list again Friday, opening up a spot for Uggla.
Though he's in the starting lineup on Friday, it's unclear how regularly Uggla will play. The Giants have rookie Joe Panik on the roster and also recalled infielder Tony Abreu on Friday. Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles sees both as better options that Uggla, but it's possible the Giants are trying to squeeze in a quick audition ahead of the trade deadline just to see if there's any reason for optimism.
The answer is probably no, but a second baseman with proven power — 233 career homers in nine seasons — will get opportunities, just as a left-handed reliever with proven success will find work without much trouble.
All GMs are looking to catch lightning in a bottle as we move deeper into the season, and for San Francisco there's very little risk in giving Uggla this chance. We'll see how it plays out.
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