Juan Uribe Ankle Sprain Sends Dodger 3B Situation From Bad to… Still Bad

I don’t ever want to act as though someone getting injured is a positive thing, but… well, I don’t quite know how to end that sentence. Honestly, it’s not that Juan Uribe spraining his ankle last night is big news – he’s been injured several times as a Dodger already, and if anything a trip to the DL might save him from his regularly-scheduled vacation to DFA City – but it’s how he hurt himself that’s just poetic.

From Ken Gurnick’s game story:

The ankle is the latest, sustained as he made a baserunning error in the second inning. Uribe wasn’t watching third-base coach Tim Wallach hold up Loney at third on Scott Van Slyke‘s bloop single. Uribe was cut down overrunning second on the play and turned his ankle trying to stop.

I mean, that’s just fantastic. I couldn’t have even dreamed of such a scenario, because Uribe hurting himself while doing something stupid would have been so on-the-nose that you’d think it could never actually happen.

We don’t yet know the extent of Uribe’s injury, though since Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA reported Uribe was “limping noticably” in the clubhouse after the game, I have to think a DL trip is likely, if only for reasons of pure mercy. With Mark Ellis expected to come off the disabled list on Thursday, that probably saves the job of Luis Cruz for a little longer. But where does it leave the Dodgers at third base?

It’s hard to say that being without Uribe makes a team worse in any way, so I won’t. But it does underscore the continuing disaster that is the Dodger hot corner these days. Jerry Hairston has been exclusively a second baseman for more than a month, and while he won’t be needed there as often with Ellis back, he’s also been hitting only .226/.302/.333 since the start of June. He did homer last night, of course, but there was also absolutely no way he was going to keep up his blazing start to the season, and he hasn’t. Elian Herrera is an option as well, though he’s been mainly an outfielder lately with Matt Kemp & Andre Ethier injured and Juan Rivera seeing more time at first base than left field, but he’s been Uribe-esque in his struggles as well, hitting only .204/.291/.281 since the beginning of June; even including his great start, his OBP is down to just .320 on the season. And then there’s Adam Kennedy, who I’m starting to believe is behind all of these injuries in some way, because otherwise there’s just no way he’d still be on this team.

Overall, the .611 OPS put forth by Dodger third basemen is the worst in the National League and ahead of only Oakland & Chicago in the AL, and the White Sox have at least made a move to try to improve that with Kevin Youkilis. I’m not exactly sure what the Dodgers are going to do, though I know Ned Colletti has long liked Chase Headley. Do the Dodgers have enough to pay San Diego’s certainly inflated price? Should they even bother? I’m not sure I know the answers to that right now, but I do know that the hot corner in Los Angeles right now is as big of a mess as it’s ever been.

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