What's behind Uggla's surge and B.J. Upton's struggles?
MAY 11, 2013 2:52p ET
FOX SPORTS SOUTH: Dan Uggla has historically had bad Aprils. But over the last week, we have seen a dramatic change -- Since May 2, he is hitting .333 with three home runs, two doubles and four RBI. What has been the most drastic improvement that you'd noticed with him?
CHIP CARAY: Results, certainly, are the first thing that comes to mind.
We were talking on the broadcast the other night about something (play-by-play partner) Joe Simpson said, which is "sometimes you can better gauge a player and how he's hitting by how he's changing."
While Dan hasn't gotten a ton of hits, he's getting on base, Joe has said his swing is more level. He's gone back to tapes of his 2006 season, which was one of his better ones with the Marlins, and he's constantly working with (hitting coach) Greg Walker in getting the muscle memory and getting all the timing issues down and getting a distinct approach from the indoor cages to the batting cages to batting practice to the game.
Consistent at-bats get consistent performance and consistent results and he's certainly headed in the right direction and that's another guy that help carry this ball club. We've seen Dan do it before.
FSS: B.J. Upton has at times shown signs that he may be breaking through, but we've also seen a lot of strikeouts from him. What do you think is the biggest thing bothering him and do you see him regaining his previous form soon?
CC: The biggest issue, from what Greg Walker has said, is that he's been horribly late on fastballs. He's just been late.
If you're late, you can't catch up to anything and then when you're thinking and jumping at the ball, you're going to be overaggressive and you're never going to see breaking stuff.
B.J. I think is coming to grips with the fact that he's really had to break down everything and start over. I think B.J. has been very honest and forthright that he's not carrying his weight. He wants to.
He has said to a lot of us 'Look, I have not been a particularly productive hitter as far as my batting average is concerned for several years now.'
You can go back to his years in Tampa Bay and he was a .283 hitter with power and speed and getting on base a lot and wreaking havoc.
Now, in fairness to him, his brother, Justin, got off to a great start, B.J. had signed the big contract, big expectations for a team that's built to win the World Series year after year and a lot of pressures that we can't possibly understand or get into; all the psychological things that make a player tick.
So those are all considerations too but I think the biggest and most important step is that B.J. is going to fix some things and he's working tirelessly with Greg Walker and has the intentions to do that.
When he does fix it, like Dan Uggla, like Brian McCann, like Freddie Freeman, he's another guy who is capable of carrying a team for a whole month and we look forward to seeing that out of B.J. Upton.
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