Uggla hit only .179 with 22 homers and ranked third in the NL with 171 strikeouts this season. His struggles continued following laser eye surgery in August. He hit .083 in August and .112 in September.
He said “it hurts” that the Braves “don’t think I can help the team win.”
“I’m not blind to my numbers, but at the same time I know what I’ve done my whole career and I still know what I’m capable of doing,” Uggla said Thursday. “So I was kind of blindsided by it.”
Uggla’s career batting average is .246. He hit more than 30 homers in five straight seasons, beginning in 2007 with the Marlins and continuing with a career-high 36 homers in 2011, his first season in Atlanta. He hit only .220 with 19 homers and 78 RBIs in 2012.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he hopes Uggla travels with the team to Los Angeles after Game 2 of the series tonight.
“Yeah, he’s part of the team,” Gonzalez said. “I would love for him to, yeah.”
Uggla said his “first inclination” is to say “I’m going home. But I know that’s not the right thing to do.”
Gonzalez told Uggla of his roster decision Tuesday.
“When something bad happens to you, your first reaction is anger,” Uggla said. “Once that calms down, you can start thinking rationally.”
Uggla didn’t speak to reporters Wednesday, when the roster was announced. He said he didn’t want to attend Wednesday’s workout.
“But I knew it was the right thing to do,” he said. “You don’t feel part of the group. But once you get past that, calm down and realize your teammates still love you, it’s ‘whatever.’”
Despite the support of his teammates and even Dodgers players, who approached him and gave him hugs during batting practice Thursday, Uggla said “it’s brutal” to be left off the roster.
The decision also was difficult for Gonzalez, who was Uggla’s manager with the Marlins as well. Gonzalez said finalizing the roster and the tough decision regarding Uggla made for “one of the hardest days I’ve ever had to experience as a major league manager.”
Despite his disappointment, Uggla participated in batting practice Thursday.
“It (stinks) for me, but this is bigger than me,” Uggla said. “This is about the team.”