Ten days removed from his visit to Braves eye doctors, Dan Uggla has learned there’s not going to be an overnight fix to his vision issues. Uggla is still in the process of testing new contacts, trying a new pair every two to three days.
“We’re still trying to find the right prescription,” said Uggla, who was first diagnosed with astigmatism in spring training. “And with astigmatism your muscles work harder and then it’s just like they change. I’m just going to keep going until I find the one that’s perfect then wear those the rest of the season, then get LASIK at the end of the season.”
Uggla is trying to put off LASIK surgery until the offseason so he can avoid a two-week stint on the disabled list. In the meantime, the difficulty comes in the inconsistency he’s getting with his contacts from one moment to the next.
“It’ll be like blurry and all of a sudden a couple times it’ll be really clear,” Uggla said. “The first at-bat (Friday) I was almost seeing double, but then the next few cleared up.”
Uggla struck out in his first at-bat Friday, “I didn’t even come close,” but then got two hits in his final three at-bats, including an eighth inning triple to right center.
“That’s just the way it’s going to go,” Uggla said. “I’m going to keep at it because I’m going to get it right. It’s a new battle, new challenge.”
Judging by his production of late, Uggla is benefitting. Entering Sunday, he had hit .292 (7-for-24) in seven games since he started wearing contacts, with two doubles, one triple, three RBIs and five walks to go with 10 strikeouts. He raised his season batting average from .194 to .203, getting it up over .200 for the first time since early May.
Uggla said this process gives him a new appreciation for what both Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman have gone through in recent years with their own visions problems.
“Outside looking in, I’m like ‘Man, really is it that? How bad can it be?’” Uggla said. “Then after battling what I’ve been going through…Mine isn’t as bad as what (Freeman) went through last year because I can still see. But the sharpness of how good my eyesight was a year and a half ago to now is (different). In this game, you’ve got to have great eyes to be able to be successful.”
Brandon Beachy continues to progress in his throwing program as he revs back up after 10 days off to rest some elbow inflammation. Beachy threw his second consecutive bullpen Sunday, a good indication of how his elbow responded to his first work off the mound on Saturday.
Beachy said he was able to extend on his pitches like he hadn’t been in his last minor league rehabilitation outing. He said Sunday morning his elbow felt good and had responded well coming off his first light bullpen. The Braves will continue to monitor how he feels day to day before laying out plans to get him back out on another minor league assignment.