09/18/12 11:20 PM ET
Uggla turns it around after being benched
By Tom Green / MLB.com
At the time, Uggla's batting average had dipped to .208. Since then, though, he has turned things around and was batting .217 entering Tuesday's game against the Marlins.
"He's seeing signs, and it's a good time," Gonzalez said. "He's heating up at the right time. Now we need to continue that."
Over his last 11 games entering Tuesday, Uggla is hitting .342 (13-for-38) with two homers, four doubles, seven RBIs and eight walks, giving the Braves the type of production they expect from the three-time All-Star.
"He's one of those guys that when he gets hot, he can be hot for a long time," Gonzalez said.
The Braves hope that's the case as they try to catch the Nationals in the National League East and avoid a one-game playoff as one of the NL Wild Card teams. The Braves gained a half-game on the Nats on Monday thanks in part to Uggla's three-RBI night, and they hope he can keep it up for the remainder of the series against his former team. Thirteen of Uggla's 71 RBIs this season have some against the Marlins -- his most against any club.
"He's really hurt his former team, mostly with the home run," pitcher Tim Hudson said. "It's great to see it. He's a guy we're going to need to lean on some the last couple weeks and in the playoffs. If we can get him hot, it's going to very much help out offense."
While Uggla has given the Braves a boost with his bat, Gonzalez also praised the second baseman for his glove -- a part of Uggla's game that has earned him a bad reputation at times. On Monday, Uggla made a few key plays on defense, including one in the eighth when he made a sliding stop in shallow right field to get Bryan Petersen at first to end the inning, strand two runners and preserve a two-run lead.
"He's not as bad as people say he is," Gonzalez said. "He got a bad reputation in that All-Star Game when he made three errors. He may not win a Gold Glove, but he's very steady."
Janish has shoulder pop out of place on dive
MIAMI -- Shortstop Paul Janish dislocated his left shoulder late Tuesday night in the Braves' 4-3 loss to the Marlins at Marlins Park.
Janish entered the game in the ninth inning as a defensive substitution after the Braves rallied from a three-run deficit to tie the game in the top of the inning, and he was quickly tested. Jose Reyes singled to lead off the frame, and then Carlos Lee followed with a sharply hit ball to the left side of the infield.
Janish made a diving stab at the ball and prevented it from leaving the infield dirt, but he injured his shoulder in the process, as it popped out of the socket. He was unable to get up and make a play at either base, and both runners were safe. He exited the game and had to have the shoulder popped back into place before he was taken for X-rays, which showed no structural damage.
"We'll know more [Wednesday], but it's not a good injury," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You put him in there to play defense, and he makes a [heck] of a play and he hurts himself."
Janish has had his shoulder pop out of the socket on eight or nine occasions, but he said he was always able to slide it back into place on his own. Tuesday was the first time he had to get someone else to manipulate it back into the socket.
"Usually it slides right back in and it still hurts, but it's something you can kind of shimmy in and deal with it or whatever," Janish said. "When I got back up here, they popped it back in, which was a little painful, but it was at least immediate relief. It's usually sore for a few days, but usually it's not too bad."
Hudson pitches in, named Clemente Award nominee
MIAMI -- Right-handed pitcher Tim Hudson was named the Braves' nominee for the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award on Tuesday.
Hudson and 29 players from each Major League team were named finalists for the award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. Fans can vote for the winner on MLB.com.
"Just to represent the Atlanta Braves as a representative is an honor," Hudson said. "There's a lot of guys in [this clubhouse] that could very well have been nominated for the award, but I feel blessed that I have the platform and am able to do some good things with it."
Hudson and his wife, Kim, have been well known for their philanthropy since the righty joined the Braves in 2005. In '09, the two founded the Hudson Family Foundation, which has raised more than $650,000 to date for children and families in need throughout Georgia and Alabama. The couple also works with the Make-A-Wish Foundation throughout the season, hosting critically ill children at Turner Field.
The righty also supports Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's efforts to raise funds for pediatric cancer research. The Hudsons also support several other community initiatives that have helped the pitcher become a finalist for the Roberto Clemente Award, presented by Chevrolet, which pays tribute to Clemente's achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. The award is named for the 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
"It's an honor," Hudson said. "Obviously it's an award that I feel holds a lot of weight around the country, especially in Major League Baseball. Roberto Clemente was a great man who was very passionate about a lot of things that are important in life."
Prado's value, consistency not lost on Fredi
MIAMI -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez knows what he gets with Martin Prado -- the do-everything utility player who proves his worth game in and game out.
"You don't realize how valuable he is," Gonzalez said. "I don't know how the outside community views him, offensively, defensively. He's been giving me great at-bats every night."
On Monday, Prado gave the Braves four great at-bats, going 4-for-4 with a pair of RBIs while tying a career high for hits and collecting his National League-leading 55th multiple-hit game. Of his four hits, three came on two-strike counts, including both of his run-scoring knocks.
Prado has excelled in those situations all season, hitting .281 (84-for-299) when he faces a count with two strikes. His 36 RBIs in two-strike situations are tied for 10th most in the Majors, while his 30 extra-base hits are second to only Milwaukee's Ryan Braun.
"Some guys are comfortable with two strikes," Gonzalez said. "They don't panic. His swing is short, so he doesn't have to cheat. He protects good. He's not afraid to take a strike in any situation."
McCann back in lineup, but Simmons sits out
MIAMI -- Brian McCann returned to the Braves' lineup Tuesday, while Andrelton Simmons once again found himself sidelined.
After missing the last two games with a hamstring injury that caused discomfort in his right knee, McCann was back behind the plate and hitting seventh against the Marlins. McCann originally aggravated the hamstring in Milwaukee before it caused him to exit Saturday's game against the Nationals.
"He's going to play," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's in the lineup. He's got the hamstring, he's got the shoulder, but he's going to play. He feels good."
Gonzalez couldn't say the same for Simmons. The 22-year-old infielder jammed his left shoulder while diving for a ball in the infield during Monday's series-opening win. Gonzalez said he wasn't aware of the injury until early Tuesday, but expects it to be a day-to-day issue. He remained hopeful that Simmons would be available for Wednesday's series finale.
With Simmons sidelined, Martin Prado started at shortstop, while Jose Constanza got the nod in left field.
It's the third injury Simmons has suffered this season. He just returned to the active roster on Sept. 10 against the Brewers after missing more than two months with a fracture of his right pinky finger. Two days later, Simmons sprained his ankle while returning to second base on a pickoff attempt.
"He's over with [injuries] after this," Gonzalez said. "Everything happens in threes. We got the broken hand, the ankle sprain and this. He's good for the rest of his career."
Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.