Los Angeles Dodgers’ third baseman Juan Uribe recently returned after missing six weeks with a hamstring injury and had just three hits in his first seven games back.
In Thursday’s 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies, Uribe broke out with three hits, including the game-winning RBI single in the top of the ninth. The three hits raised his season average to .299 and gave Don Mattingly some confidence that his third baseman is back.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, Mattingly shared his thoughts on what Uribe brings to the lineup when he’s hitting:
It just lengthens us,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Uribe’s return. “There’s been games where you kind of get to the bottom (of the lineup), you get to 7-8-pitcher and you really don’t feel like you’re going to have much of a chance to score much of the time.”
When Uribe was on the disabled list, Justin Turner filled in admirably and kept the lineup intact. Onnce Turner and Hanley Ramirez went down with injury then the Dodgers were forced to turn to a more defensive-minded lineup with Miguel Rojas and Carlos Triunfel in the starting lineup various times. While the two are above-average on defense, they are not as adept in the batter’s box.
Mattingly also added some words on the lineup with both Uribe and Ramirez:
But Papi kind of lengthens that and with Hanley (Ramirez back in the lineup Thursday) too it pushes it one more notch down. … It just lengthens us up and down, makes us more dangerous.”
With the two back in the lineup, the Dodgers are near full strength in their starting lineup minus outfielder Carl Crawford. Although Crawford may have found himself on the outside looking in with the production from Matt Kemp in recent weeks.
Uribe should give the Dodgers another solid bat in the lineup and improve the offense as they continue their push for the National League West title.
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