The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t been at full strength since the season began as Josh Beckett and Matt Kemp, among others, were both on the disabled list when the team opened up in Australia. Since that point, the Dodgers have lost A.J. Ellis, Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brian Wilson to the DL.
All but Ellis and Ryu have returned, with the catcher seemingly days away from being reinstated. One player who hasn’t played since May 8 but has managed to avoid being placed on the DL is Juan Uribe. The Dodger third baseman left the game last week with a mild hamstring strain and has been considered day to day since.
Uribe is again out of the lineup for Tuesday’s game, though he is available to play, as was the case Monday night. According to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group, Mattingly is targeting this weekend’s series for Uribe’s return:
#Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is targeting Arizona series for Juan Uribe's return to the starting lineup.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) May 13, 2014
Uribe’s absence have left the Dodgers without a true third baseman and they have looked to Chone Figgins and Justin Turner to act as temporary replacements. To this point, it’s been a difficult task for the two utility men to fill in for Uribe, who is third on the team with a .306 batting average.
If Uribe is able to play in the first game of the series with the Diamondbacks on May 16, it will mark seven days since he last played, or eight less than a 15-day stint on the DL would have resulted in him being unavailable.
Despite the unpredictability of a hamstring injury, the Dodgers opted to give Uribe time to rest and slowly test the strength of the hamstring with light running and fielding drills. Along with Uribe’s pending return, the Dodgers may also get Ellis’ and Ryu’s services in time for the series in the desert.
Dodgers Update: Clayton Kershaw’s Impressive Return, A.J. Ellis Improving