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Running out of patience with Juan Uribe?

June 30, 2011 |  4:08 pm

Photo: Third baseman Juan Uribe #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up before the game. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images If not, then I ask, why not? Halfway through the season, he’s been about as successful as a marriage engineered from "The Bachelor."

As that needed power hitter, Juan Uribe’s been invisible. Heck, as a hitter he’s been invisible. His numbers are scary, though potentially the most frightening part is that the Dodgers have him signed for two more seasons.

Here are his current numbers: .206 batting average, .275 on-base percentage, .303 slugging percentage, four home runs, 24 RBI.

Maybe what’s truly frightening is, that RBI total leaves him fourth on the team.

It’s not like he’s showing signs of finding his power stroke. He has only one home run in his last 142 at-bats.

The Dodgers went into the winter in dire need of power. It was in short supply and going after Uribe seemed reasonable and I supported it, though not at a whopping three years and $21 million.

Now here he is, only not a valued No. 5 hitter in the lineup, not a valued hitter at all. He strikes out almost a fourth of his at-bats (52 in 218).

It’s not like he’s some kind of second-half guy, either. Last year at the break, he had 12 homers and 50 RBI and was batting .251. He’s not even half that hitter.

Uribe missed 15 games with a strained left hip flexor muscle but returned even more feeble. In his 20 games this month, he’s hit .182 with four RBI. That's almost hard to do.

And the Dodgers are stuck with him. Even if they decided to become sellers at the trading deadline, it’s not like he could be moved with that contract. Unless, of course, Frank McCourt decided to eat much of it. Warning: Holding your breath can prove fatal.

The Giants wanted Uribe back in the off-season and reportedly matched the Dodgers’ offer. There was even a rumor floated Wednesday by Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that the teams were recently talking about moving him back to San Francisco. Mike Petriello of Mike Scisocia’s Tragic Illness knew this was ridiculous but was so enamored at the mere possibility that he wrote it anyway. By the time he got it up, Baggarly had already posted an update saying Giants GM Brian Sabean had called to shoot the rumor down.

So Uribe is here and unlikely to go anywhere. It isn’t like the Dodgers can just give up on him, not just a half-season into that contract.

Still, they don’t have to play him every day. Not with Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles hitting around .300. They have no power, but then again, apparently neither does Uribe.


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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Third baseman Juan Uribe #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up before the game. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images