With vision a concern, Uggla gets new contacts

With vision a concern, Uggla gets new contacts

ATLANTA -- When Dan Uggla was told during Spring Training that his vision was being blurred by an astigmatism, he ditched the contact lenses he was given after just a couple days. But after spending the first half of this season ducking out of the way of many curveballs and looking at far too many strikes, he opted to get assistance.

After undergoing a multitude of tests on Thursday afternoon, Uggla was fitted with another set of contact lenses that he hopes will be more comfortable than the set he tried in March. If this does not work, the second baseman might undergo LASIK surgery.

"I just know that I need LASIK or contacts," Uggla said. "So we're going to go with contacts first. They felt great all day, and I'm excited about it. I'm excited about hopefully being able to see the ball better."

Uggla sat out of Thursday's 4-3 loss the Mets. But he believes he will be ready to play when the Braves open a three-game set in Milwaukee on Friday.

"I've always thought I've had pretty good eyes, and I've always had, up until probably late last year," Uggla said. "But it's nothing that's not fixable. So it's better to identify the problem now and get it solved now."

Uggla has traveled a rocky road since the Braves signed him to a five-year, $62 million deal before the start of the 2011 season. The 33-year-old batted .173 during his first 86 games with Atlanta and then proceeded to hit .291 with 34 home runs and a .938 OPS in his next 134 games. But in the 166 games that have followed, he has hit .189 with 22 homers and a .673 OPS.

"I guess now looking back, I kind of noticed it last year," Uggla said. "It was harder to focus, even out in the field. This year I was just trying to battle through it, thinking it's going to come like it always does, not thinking, 'Maybe you're not seeing the ball.'"

Uggla set the franchise record with 156 strikeouts in 2011 and then upped that total with 168 last year. He is currently on pace to strike out more than 201 times this season.

"It's just been building," Uggla said. "I haven't been able to pull the trigger on a lot of the pitches I've made my money on and done a lot of damage on. For me to not be able to even pull the trigger on any of those pitches for this amount of time and to also be ducking out of the way of so many pitches that are strikes, my eyes aren't telling me the right thing. So I've got to do something."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.