However, last season, the third baseman became one of the heroes of the team’s season after his two-run home run in the eighth inning in Game 4 of the NLDS propelled the Los Angeles Dodgers into the NLCS. He became a free agent after the season and signed a two-year deal to remain the club’s primary third baseman.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, the 34-year-old’s return was received with more than warm feelings:
Uribe heard from several teammates, either directly or through the media. They all expressed similar sentiments: How delighted they were he was returning. That he was a leader in the clubhouse and a key figure on their team.
I was really proud of that, Uribe said. That reinforced my belief that I made the right decision to come back.
He was often seen last season enjoying a laugh with Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu, as he became the team’s glue in their stretch run. It helped that the chemistry he brought to the locker room also came with production on the field. After hitting .204 and .191, respectively, the previous two seasons, Uribe hit .278 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI and provided above-average defense at the hot corner.
Fellow good guy A.J. Ellis gave his view on what Uribe brings to the Dodgers via Hernandez:
He’s the target of a lot of fun in the clubhouse, but he gives it out as well, Ellis said. It helps promote that attitude that this game is not serious all the time.
You want to be serious and you want to be focused for the three hours of the game. But there’s too much time here. You can’t be locked in all day. Juan does a great job keeping things loose before the game, after the game, on team flights, on team buses.
Uribe has been apart of two World Series winning teams and could be the key to another one this season in Los Angeles. If he can keep the club loose and provide another solid season, the Dodgers will be all smiles come October.
ICYMI: Here’s our Dodgers Nation Week In Review Video