ATLANTA — The Braves’ second-highest paid player this season isn’t likely to have a major role in the National League Division Series, but at least B.J. Upton is on the roster.
That can’t be said for Dan Uggla, who has the team’s highest 2013 salary.
The Braves will use Elliot Johnson as their starting second baseman against the Los Angeles Dodgers and go with Paul Janish as the infield backup.
“It was difficult,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “You have to put the best 25 out there.”
Uggla hit 22 homers during the regular season, but the 33-year-old had just one extra-base hit and four RBIs while batting .099 in his last 36 games. He batted .133 with 25 strikeouts in 24 games after taking time out for laser eye surgery that didn’t get him back on track.
Uggla’s .137 average with runners in scoring position was the majors’ second-lowest, ahead of only the .108 of Upton, who hit .184 overall. Uggla’s final average was .179.
Upton, who signed a five-year deal worth $75.25 million as a free agent, did make the NLDS, though, as a potential defensive replacement in the outfield and pinch runner.
Uggla, who made $13,146,000 this season, has two more years on his contract and will earn the same the next two seasons. Upton’s salary this year was $13,050,000 and the Braves are on the hook for four more years.
Johnson, meanwhile, was a bargain pickup late in August after being released by Kansas City. He hit .261 with with seven extra-base hits, 10 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 32 games with the Braves.
Garcia to get start
The Braves went with Freddy Garcia, rather than left-hander Paul Maholm, as the scheduled starter for Game 4 in Los Angeles on Monday, if necessary.
Garcia was hit hard in one start for Class AAA Gwinnett after being acquired from Baltimore in late August, but turned back the clock with the Braves during September.
The 36-year-old right-hander posted a 1.65 ERA in six games overall and allowed just four runs over 19 2/3 innings in his three starts.
Garcia also has made 10 postseason starts, going 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA for the Chicago White Sox and pitching the clinching game in the sweep of Houston.
David Hale, who spent all of the regular season with Gwinnett, earned a spot in the Braves bullpen for the NLDS against the Dodgers off two impressive September spot starts.
The Marietta native was 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA and set a record for a Braves pitcher in his major league debut by striking out nine in five innings against San Diego on Sept. 13.
Hale won a spot over fellow right-hander Anthony Varvaro, who appeared in 62 games, and veteran left-hander Scott Downs, picked up from the Los Angeles Angels at the trade deadline.
Jordan Walden was included in the NLDS roster despite pitching just four times the final six weeks because of groin and shoulder issues, and posting a 7.20 ERA. The right-hander showed the Braves he was healthy by working an inning in Florida on Tuesday during an instructional league game.
BRAVES NLDS ROSTER
PITCHERS (11): Luis Avilan, Luis Ayala, David Carpenter, Freddy Garcia, David Hale, Craig Kimbrel, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Jordan Walden and Alex Wood.
CATCHERS (3): Evan Gattis, Gerald Laird and Brian McCann.
INFIELDERS (5): Freddie Freeman, Paul Janish, Chris Johnson, Elliot Johnson and Andrelton Simmons,
OUTFIELDERS (6): Jose Constanza, Jason Heyward, Reed Johnson, Jordan Schafer, B.J. Upton and Justin Upton.