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The Dodgers infield that never was: Juan Uribe injured again

July 24, 2011 |  1:58 pm

Once there was a dream. Maybe not the grandest of dreams, but one nonetheless.

The Dodgers went into the season planning on having a starting infield of first baseman James Loney, second baseman Juan Uribe, third baseman Casey Blake and shortstop Rafael Furcal.

Alas, the best laid plans of mice and general managers …

These four guys wouldn’t know how to find each other on the field. Furcal and Blake have been a tag team on and off the disabled list all season. Uribe had his own stint on the disabled list with a left hip flexor strain, re-injured it Saturday and was unable to start Sunday.

"I know there hasn’t been very many where everybody was in there together where we had what we thought would be our starting infield," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.

Try two games.

The Dodgers had played 100 games on the season entering Sunday’s game, and their projected starting infield had started together exactly two times all season, both back in early April.

Side note: Blake turns 38 next month, Furcal is 34 and Uribe 32.

Mattingly said Uribe aggravated his injury early in Saturday’s game. He left the game after five innings.

"He didn’t feel like he could go today," Mattingly said. "We’re hoping it’s a one- or two-day thing."

Mattingly said the injury was in Uribe's lower abdomen, in the same general area as his original injury. He did not think Uribe had been playing with the injury since coming back June 6.

"If you had something going on in there, you couldn’t play with it," he said. "The swing, the torque in there, if you have something going on you don’t swing the bat the way [he does]. He swings hard."

Blake has been on the disabled list three times this season, his latest with a cervical strain. It’s unknown when he will return. Blake felt his neck had been improving, but when he added some additional baseball work Friday the neck again became aggravated.

"The latest thing is a little bit of a setback," Mattingly said. "I know it’s frustrating for him because he kind of felt like he was kind of turning the corner a little bit. He was waking up feeling better, having a little more movement. You get hopeful.

"Then it seemed like two days later he tried to add on what he was doing and he went backwards. That setback kind of scares me a little bit, that you’re feeling better and then it goes backwards a little bit."


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Photo: Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe singles in two runs against the Washington Nationals on Friday. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire