Prior to suffering a hamstring strain May 8, Juan Uribe had been a key contributor in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup. Heading into the game Uribe was injured in, he was hitting .313 and had a .818 OPS.
The Dodgers opted against placing the third baseman on the disabled list, instead allowing Uribe to rest and he returned to the lineup May 16. In his fourth game back, Uribe hit a double in the ninth inning against the New York Mets and re-aggravated the hamstring strain as he rounded first base.
Calling this strain more serious than the first, the Dodgers this time placed Uribe on the DL and called up Erisbel Arruebarrena. Uribe is eligible to come off the DL Thursday, however manager Don Mattingly believes a return on that date is unlikely, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
Mattingly said it would be “overly hopeful” to think Uribe will be ready to return then.
With Uribe unavailable, the Dodgers have looked to Chone Figgins and Justin Turner to split the duties at third base. Recently, Arruebarrena was fielding grounders at second and third, but Mattingly indicated that was simply to be prepared for emergency situations:
But Mattingly said Arruebarrena is doing that just so “he has some versatility in an emergency situation.” There is no plan to give Arruebarrena starts at second or third.
Prior to joining the Dodgers this season, Arruebarrena played exclusively at shortstop for the Chattanooga Lookouts, the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate. The same has held true in the Majors, though Arruebarrena certainly carries the defensive skills to fill in at two of the other three infield positions.
Hanley Ramirez moving to third is another option for the Dodgers, though that too doesn’t appear to currently be on the table for serious consideration. For Ramirez, who is in the final year of his contract, a move to third base has been considered a matter of when and not if. The situation at third could remain fluid as the Dodgers are unlikely to rush Uribe back.
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