Is Juan Uribe’s time with the Dodgers nearing the end?
Uribe said Tuesday there’s no point in worrying about that.
“Whatever happens, there’s nothing I can do about it,” Uribe said. “I can’t control that. If they want to trade me or do something else, that’s something I can’t control. The decision is for them to make. I’m here to do whatever they want me to do.”
Uribe has barely played since the Dodgers acquired Hanley Ramirez, and the team could decide to part ways with him in the coming days, as a roster spot will have to be cleared when utilityman Adam Kennedy makes his anticipated return from the 15-day disabled list Friday.
The Dodgers’ roster and lineup have been in flux in recent weeks, a result of their trade deadline acquisitions. Tony Gwynn Jr. and Bobby Abreu are already off the roster. Uribe has gone from being a part-time third baseman to what Manager Don Mattingly calls “an extra on a team that’s pretty well set lineup-wise.”
Heading into Tuesday, Uribe had played only three games in the previous two weeks, all of them as a substitute. He last started a game on July 22.
Uribe was batting .193 through Monday and it doesn’t appear he’ll be given the opportunity to hit his way out of a slump dating to last season. With Ramirez at shortstop, Jerry Hairston Jr. played third base Tuesday. Luis Cruz started at third base the previous day.
Asked if Uribe would ever play again, Mattingly replied, “If the situation calls for it, he’ll play.”
“There are different situations that come up in the course of a game,” Mattingly said. “It could be a matchup or pinch-hitting in a situation in a game, double-switching in a game.”
Uribe’s contract would make most teams pause before parting ways with him. Uribe is in the second year of a three-year, $21-million deal and will still be owed $8 million after this season. But the Dodgers are no longer under the same financial constraints of most of their competitors, evidenced by how they added more than $40 million in the week leading up to the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.
Uribe acknowledged sitting as much as he has in recent weeks has been tough, but he accepted Mattingly’s decision not to play him.
“They’re playing the ballplayers who are doing their jobs,” Uribe said. “Like everyone knows, the manager has to play his best players. The players who are playing are doing a better job than I am.”
Uribe was noncommittal when asked if his preference was to remain with the Dodgers.
“Whether I’m here or not, that’s not something I can control,” he said. “If I’m here, I’m fine. If I’m not here, there’s nothing I can do. They know what they’re doing.”
Mark Ellis was given a day off and Cruz started in his place at second base. Mattingly said the Dodgers went into the season wanting to limit Ellis to about 135 games. Referring to the time Ellis spent on the disabled list, Mattingly said, “I know he’s missed a lot. He’s not going to play 135, but that doesn’t mean we can play him 90 out of 95.” … Matt Guerrier, who has been on the disabled list since mid-April, will go to Arizona later this week to step up his rehabilitation program. He could return in September. … Ted Lilly has resumed throwing off a mound.