Uggla had a procedure to improve his vision in the offseason, and he's hitting .278 with .922 OPS this spring.
"The way I’ve been feeling probably the last 20 at-bats or so, I’ve felt just as good, maybe even better than I’ve ever felt," he said, per Nats Insider's Mark Zuckerman. "I just want to keep working in that direction and keep doing what I’m doing and get better every day. I’m really, really happy with the way I’ve been feeling."
"I just think his direction is good," manager Matt Williams said, per MASNsports.com. "It has been good, the fact that he's just taking balls to right field. He's shown some power the other way in spring, which is good. For him, that's key.
"I know that he feels good about where he's at, I know he feels good about seeing the ball. And the results are showing so yeah, I think he's performed really well. He's been a joy to have around. He's a veteran guy, understands the whole process of spring training, but he's worked really hard, too. So for me he's been real good."
Uggla, 35, is battling for a roster spot with the Nationals. For his career he has a batting average of .243 with 233 homers and 690 RBI.
Uggla went one for two on Friday to raise his average to .292 in spring training games.
"We haven't defined any roles," manager Matt Williams said, per MLB.com's Bill Ladson. "What we do know at this point is that he is seeing the ball well and he is playing well. I like his at-bats. We are giving him as much time as we can in every aspect -- starting a game, coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter, everything we can possibly think of to get him used to everything."
Uggla had perfect 20-15 vision when he held his head still, but it wasn't as sharp (20-100) when he moved his head. His condition was a byproduct of an inner-ear and balance problem, which might have been the result of previously undetected concussions Uggla suffered after getting hit in the head, per NatsInsider.com.
To help Uggla with his vision problem, former major leaguer Marquis Grissom contacted Uggla and put him in touch with Las Vegas-based Dr. Robert Donatelli, who helped Grissom overcome an unusual vision problem years earlier.
“It wasn’t just like, boom! It was gradual stages of getting better,” he said. “He’s got to retrain the ocular muscles and that kind of stuff. But it was a gradual thing. Everything would start to become easy again. Not easy, but the way I remembered it. They do all kinds of stuff for balance. It was just a culmination of things. It’s hard to explain, but all in all, I feel really good.
“I’m not going to blame the last couple years on that, because I’m out there competing. That was me. Who knows what the reason [for my struggles] was. But it’s nice for people to reach out and help and let you know there is something that’s going on, and it can be fixed. Knowing that I’ve done everything I can do and I feel the way I do, it’s a good feeling.”
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|8/1/2014 vs N.Y. Mets|
|vs N.Y. Mets||25||5||0||.286||.240||.200|
|vs Niese (Career)||33||10||0||.455||.410||.303|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
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