As the Los Angeles Dodgers gear up for the stretch run towards the postseason, the team has been hit by the injury bug. Many key players have been sent to the disabled list, including Juan Uribe with a hamstring issue.
Uribe re-aggravated the same hamstring that required him to spend five weeks on the disabled list earlier this season; however, the third baseman isn’t letting this latest setback have any impact on how he presents himself in the clubhouse.
In an article by Kevin Baxter of the LA Times, manager Don Mattingly addressed how the 35-year-old has made his presence felt even when he is not in the lineup:
There are guys that, just because they’re hurt, doesn’t mean they’re invisible. He is a leader and it doesn’t change because he’s on the DL. … And Juan, he’s funny in the clubhouse. He’s loose. But he knows when to get down to business.”
The Dominican Republic native has not been shy in being a vocal leader and calling teammates out. In 2013, the 13-year veteran called out teammate Yasiel Puig in front of his teammates for playing recklessly, but also came quick to Puig’s defense when the media bashed the young Cuban star for that same behavior.
Brian Wilson, who was Uribe’s teammate before they both came to the Dodgers, had a quick statement to summarize the third baseman’s presence:
A leader? For sure. There’s no question about that.”
Uribe’s veteran leadership and overall presence in the clubhouse was a major factor in why the Dodgers offered him a two-year, $15 million contract after the 2013 season. After batting a combined .199 in his first two seasons as a Dodger, Uribe was having his best year as a Dodger, hitting .293 with 35 RBIs and a .320 on-base percentage.
The two-time World Series champion has helped the Dodgers in more ways than one, but did not take credit for any of those actions:
I don’t feel like a leader. I don’t feel like I’m better than anyone. But I always like to be with my teammates. On this team and on the other teams I’ve been with. I’ve always said my teammates are my family.”
The Dodgers gear up for a three-game set at Chavez Ravine against the San Diego Padres, starting on Tuesday.
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