Daily Dodger in review: Juan Uribe goes bust, under the knife
Final 2011 stats: .204 batting average, four homers, 28 RBI, .264 on-base percentage and a .293 slugging percentage in 270 at-bats.
Contract status: Signed for two more years at $15 million.
The good: OK, this one is a toughie. Try this – his defensive versatility proved an asset when Casey Blake missed most of the season with injuries. Uribe was signed as a second baseman, but spent most of his time at third. As Eric Stephen noted, he doubled to break up a San Diego no-hit bid 8-2/3 innings into a scoreless tie July 9 -- and scored the winning run on a Dioner Navarro single. Hit three home runs in a five-game stretch during April.
The bad: Hit only one other home run all season, or at least as much as he saw of it. Look, it was all pretty much bad. Like disastrous bad. After April 29, he batted .182 with one home run and 14 RBI for the rest of the season.
He went on the disabled list with a left hip flexor strain May 22, continued to stink when he returned, went back on the DL with the same injury July 30, and went it finally healed, they determined he had a sports hernia too. Ultimately, he had surgery and was never seen again.
What’s next: It can’t get any worse, can it? The Dodgers signed him to a three-year deal, so he’s on board for two more seasons. All they can do is hope he’s healthy and send him back out there next season. Now, however, they view him as their third baseman. Which leaves a hole at second.
The take: General manager Ned Colletti didn’t really expect him to duplicate the career-year he had with the Giants in 2010 (24 homers, 85 RBI), but neither did he expect the worst season of Uribe's career.
Uribe was a major bust, but it was a thin free agent market and the supposed big bats all seemed to disappoint. Colletti didn’t want to go three years on Uribe, but the Giants wanted him back and here he was.
Now we’ll see if last season lit any kind of fire under Uribe, who turns 33 in March. If he gets back to the 15-homer, 70-RBI range, then the Dodgers have the player they thought they signed. And still need.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Juan Uribe reacts after being hit by a pitch. Credit: Victor Decolongon / Getty Images