At 36 years old, Juan Uribe is in the final year of his two-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Playing for an organization that added depth during the offseason and has a multitude of versatile players, whether the club will place an importance on re-signing Uribe is far from guaranteed.
Whereas Uribe turned the corner in 2013, the last time he was in a contract year, after struggling through two seasons, the fun-loving teammate had a poor showing in Spring Training that carried into the regular season. Combined with Alex Guerrero’s impressive production in limited opportunities, some began calling for the reins at third base to be handed to the Cuban native.
However, Uribe has since improved and has a modest 11-game hitting streak — modest because he only has two extra-base hits and one multi-hit game during the stretch. Despite finding a better rhythm at the plate, Uribe wasn’t in Friday’s and Saturday’s lineups.
Manager Don Mattingly said Uribe being held out of the lineup over the last two days isn’t due to injury and acknowledged he likely isn’t pleased by the development, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
He’s fine,” Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s probably mad as hell.”
Uribe is expected to return to the lineup Sunday and Mattingly added his status as the club’s starting third base remains unchanged:
It’s pretty much, ‘Juan’s our guy.’ That’s the way I look at it,” Mattingly said. “Everybody else mixes in after that.”
It hasn’t been uncommon for Mattingly to provide the veteran third baseman with rest, but it’s usually come in a day game that follows a night game. Mattingly explained the decision to sit Uribe and start Justin Turner was due to creating favorable matchups against Arizona Diamondbacks hard-thrower Rubby De La Rosa.
Uribe has never faced the former Dodgers prospect in his career and is 0-for-1 against Jeremy Hellickson, who starts for the Diamondbacks on Saturday. Uribe is 2-for-6 in his career against Chase Anderson, Sunday’s starter in the series finale.
Dodgers Teammates Prank Joc Pederson