Heading into the season, many people would have picked the outfield as the most crowded position on the roster.
Injuries to Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford have somewhat cleared up the logjam in the outfield for the time being, but another position is now the subject of “too many cooks in the kitchen”. Juan Uribe was the team’s starting third baseman after enjoying one of his best seasons of his career in 2014, but a slow start combined with production from Alex Guerrero and Justin Turner eventually turned the spot into a revolving door.
Now, it appears the Dodgers have a new primary third baseman and Uribe has been relegated to a reduced role. While manager Don Mattingly woulnd’t commit to playing Turner every day because he doesn’t believe his body would hold up, he did say that Turner would be playing five days a week. “We try to be three on, one off and two on and one off. Trying basically to not let him go too far at one time,” Mattingly said.
Turner is hitting .289 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 36 games (20 starts at four positions). When asked why he couldn’t play every single day, Mattingly said Turner’s knees would be an issue.
With Turner playing third most of the time, Guerrero and Uribe split his off days at third base. Guerrero also receives starts in left field, giving him 3-4 starts a week. The Cuban infielder is currently hitting .309 with eight home runs and 20 RBIs. He’s also carved himself a niche as a pinch-hitter, with three of his home runs coming in that role. As for Uribe, the 36-year-old has seen himself become a bench player and he was nearly traded on Tuesday morning to the Atlanta Braves.
With Turner the man at third base, it will be interesting to see what happens if he struggles and Uribe heats up.
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