07/07/08 8:31 PM EST
Uggla tabbed for Home Run Derby
Ankle injury likely won't keep Marlins second baseman out
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
Uggla has been selected to be one of the four National League representatives in the July 14 event at Yankee Stadium.
With 23 homers, Uggla entered Monday tied with Philadelphia's Ryan Howard for second most in the Majors. Chase Utley of the Phillies topped the Majors with 24.
Uggla was voted into the All-Star Game by his peers on Sunday. He joins teammate Hanley Ramirez, selected by the fans to start the game at shortstop for the National League.
"I think it's awesome," said Uggla, who was asked about a week ago if he was interested. "Every kid dreams about being in the Home Run Derby. I know I used to watch it every year. It's just one of things, I'm very fortunate and very excited to be in. I'm very thankful."
In his third big league season, Uggla has 81 career home runs. He is the first second baseman since Joe Gordon of the Yankees nearly 70 years ago to hit at least 20 home runs in each of his first three seasons.
Uggla said on Sunday that he wanted to compete in the Home Run Derby. What may stand in the way of that is a sore left ankle.
Uggla sprained the ankle on June 28, and he hasn't played since. At the time of the injury, he was pacing the Major Leagues in homers.
The 28-year-old second baseman hopes to be available to pinch-hit sometime during the Marlins' series with the Padres at PETCO Park. And if his ankle keeps progressing, he may be ready to start at second base during the club's four-game series with the Dodgers, which begins on Thursday in Los Angeles.
Uggla is confident his ankle will be good to go for the Home Run Derby.
"That's the one thing I can do. I can hit with no pain or anything like that," he said. "It still continues to get better every day. It feels better today, and I hope to be able to pinch-hit sometime in this San Diego series.
"As long as I don't have to run, I'll be fine."
Uggla spent Monday giving the ankle treatment, and he didn't do any baseball activities. Over the weekend at Colorado, he did some light jogging, fielding ground balls at him, and hitting in the cages and on the field.
The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage that will also be available on XM Satellite Radio, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage.
The last Marlins player to participate in the Home Run Derby was Miguel Cabrera, who finished third in 2006 at Pittsburgh.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.