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Braves Daily News Digest: 7/21

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Braves' bats come alive for an 8-2 trouncing of the Phillies

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Braves News

Wood, La Stella, Lead Braves to Victory

With Dan Uggla officially out of Atlanta, the starting job at second-base is essentially Tommy La Stella's to lose. That being said, it's hard to see the job slipping out of the 25-year-old's hands given his performance, especially with the bases loaded. He's been in that situation seven times, and had a hit in six of them, including one against the Phillies on Sunday.

Mike Minor Named Braves Most Important Player in Second Half

With the second-half of the baseball season just a few games deep, David Schoenfield of ESPN named each National League team's most important player for the second half. if you read the headline, you'll see he picked struggling starter Mike Minor as the team's key player for the postseason push. Minor's rough season has been well documented, with a 4.86 ERA, .291 batting average against, and a high .343 BABIP. The 26-year-old was thrown into the top end of the rotation after spring training injuries to Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen, but it's been rather rough going so far. While a late-season turn around from Minor would be incredible for Atlanta, would strong finishes from offensive leaders Freddie Freeman or Jason Heyward be just as, or more important for the Brave's potential playoff run?

Brave's Teammates Praise Uggla Upon Release

There weren't too many kind things to say about second-baseman Dan Uggla this season. Uggla, 34, was released after batting .162 in 48 games this season. While fans of the Braves were happy to throw him out the back-door, his former teammates had some kind words to share regarding the recently cut Uggla:

"He was beloved by everybody in this clubhouse" Freddie Freeman said. "I think everybody would say it, he was probably one of our favorite teammates, and he's definitely going to be missed in this clubhouse. Wherever he goes, that team's going to be lucky to have him."

While fans, and apparently management, both were glad to see Dan leave, the other players in the clubhouse might have different feelings towards the release, despite his poor play.

El Oso Blanco to Make Return on Monday

Evan Gattis has been on the Disabled List since June 29th, but it looks like he'll be making a much anticipated return to the Braves lineup after a rehab stint with Triple-A Gwinnet. Gattis will be bringing a .290 average and 16 home runs back to Atlanta, something which has been dearly missed.

MLB News:

Colby Lewis Rants After a Fifth-Inning Bunt

In the fifth-inning of the Rangers-Blue Jays game, where Toronto held a 2-0 lead, Colby Rasums reached first after bunting a pitch from Texas' Colby Lewis. Apparently, that didn't sit well with Lewis:

I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you're up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average. ...

... [Rasmus] didn't steal within the first two pitches to put himself in scoring position. That tells me he is solely looking out for himself, and looking out for batting average. And I didn't appreciate it

Lewis certainly argued his case, but is he overreacting, or is his defense of one of baseball's many "unwritten rules" justified?

Is it a Three-Team Race for David Price?

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Seattle Mariners had engaged in trade talks for Tampa's ace David Price. As the weekend comes to an end, two other teams have reportedly emerged looking to acquire the left-hander; the Cleveland Indians and the St. Louis Cardinals. Nabbing Price could help turn any team into a contender, and make teams like the Cardinals into World Series favorites.