Daily Dodger in Review: The continued rebirth of Juan Uribe

Juan Uribe has become an integral part of the Dodgers -- on the field and at the plate

JUAN URIBE, 36 in March, third baseman.

Final 2014 stats: batted a career-high .311 with nine homers, 23 doubles, 54 RBIs and a .337 on-base and .440 slugging percentages in 404 plate appearances.

Contract status: Signed for one additional year at $7.5 million.

The good: Despite appearing in only 103 games, his 54 RBIs were fifth-best on the team and his batting average highest among regulars. Finished strong, batting .377 in September with 17 RBIs. Slight oddity – he hit .344 in his first at-bat against a starter, .196 the second time and .389 the third time. Never had a serious slump all season. Continued to be a superb defensive third baseman. Remains tremendous in the clubhouse.

The bad: Not much on the negative side of the ledger. Taste in clothes. Spent two stints on the disabled list with sore hamstrings. Went 2-for-17 in division series against Cardinals. Hit only .216 against the Diamondbacks. (Hey, we’re trying here.)

What’s next: This could be his final season as a Dodger. He’s in the last year of his contract, about to turn 36 and prized prospect Cory Seager is going to play either short or third.

The take: Everyone wanted to run him out of town after he hit a combined .199 his first two seasons with the Dodgers. When people talked about Uribe, it was usually what a pudge-ball he was.

By the time he started the final season in his three-year, $21-million contract last year, he had actually lost his job to life-long minor leaguer Luis Cruz. He looked like a disaster signing.

Now in his last two seasons, he’s hit a combined .295 and become an integral part of the team -- on the field and at the plate. And he is probably the most beloved teammate on the club. It’s been a rather remarkable turnaround, and at an age when most aren’t rebounding.

There’s no reason to expect a dramatic drop-off next season, though he’s certainly had his shares of highs and lows during his 14-year career. Will be their starting third baseman next season, until play or age say otherwise.

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