Juan Uribe, Highly-Paid Spectator

I know we’ve been talking about this basically every day, so this probably seems like overkill. Still, I can’t quite get past the ongoing absurdity of the Juan Uribe situation. He didn’t play last night against lefty Mark Buehrle, and he’s almost certainly not going to play tonight against righty Ricky Nolasco, especially not when Jerry Hairston has six extra-base hits in 16 plate appearances against the Miami pitcher.

When he doesn’t, that will put us one day shy of three full weeks from Uribe’s last start, and while I have no idea how to search for a healthy member of the active roster going that long without starts in a non-September situation, I don’t think any of us can remember a time in recent history where that’s happened. While obviously none of us are bemoaning the fact that Don Mattingly refuses to play Uribe – right on, Don – it’s a situation that is somehow both infuriating and entertaining all at the same time.

I bring this up today partially because it’s a light topic on a Saturday, but also because today marks two months since Uribe’s return from his latest disabled list stint, on June 11. Since then, he’s somehow been worse than ever, ‘hitting” .129/.195/.243 over 77 plate appearances. Of course, what’s most interesting there is the fact that 77 plate appearances over two months is just barely more than one a day, and obviously the bulk of those came before Hanley Ramirez arrived and Jerry Hairston was pushed back to the infield by Shane Victorino. With Adam Kennedy now healthy, it’s quite possible we never see Uribe again.

Yet he remains on the active roster, stuck in some sort of purgatory between “being too terrible to even have a case to play above Luis Cruz” and “under contract for another year and two months.” I can’t imagine he survives until 2013, but at this point, am I resigned to the fact that he’ll make it to September and probably through the end of the season, even if that means it’s entirely a life spent on the sidelines.

If so, his single in the tenth inning in St. Louis back on July 25 (shown below) might be the last time we see him on base. Even in success, it’s classic Uribe; he never would have had the chance had the game not gone into extra innings, he swung at the first pitch and at three of the four he saw, his back half totally flew off as he flung the bat at the ball, and he happened to get lucky with a dinker up the middle.

Six days later, he came in to go 0-2 as part of a double-switch against Arizona. We haven’t seen him since. We might never see him again, but he’ll be there, photobombing your pictures and haunting your dreams.

85 comments
Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

Do they play Firework every time a team wins the gold medal or just the US?  What are you doing, London?

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

I've now settled into the realization that we won't see much more of Uribe, but he's not going anywhere.  Ned will keep him around for next year, in the hope that he will somehow salvage 1 good year out of that contract.  If it doesn't happen, he will get the boot sometime mid season next year.

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

#15 on Norway is my favorite Olympian.

TruBluDodger
TruBluDodger

Could it be that in his heart of hearts He's a Giant?  Could it be that he is spying on our team and reporting to the Giants?  Nah, not in baseball.

Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)
Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)

It's funny, I made the point yesterday about catchers batting eighth and that the Marlins were doing it too. Nick Green is batting 7th and John Buck eighth. Nick Green has a career line of .235/.303/.250. John Buck is at .235/.303/.404. Here it makes sense. Both are bad, really bad. 

 

However, here is something that absolutely baffles the mind (and thanks BR for these fascinating stats). Combined, Dodgers 1 and 2 hitters (non-pitchers) have a line of .232/.303/.301. Combined, Dodgers 7-9 hitters (non-pitchers) have a line of .243/.317/.351. These are very similar stats, and I'm sure Dee Gordon really skewed things downward for the leadoff hitters, but it's the principle that Donnie is following that is most aggravating. In general, you want your best hitters to get the most at-bats. So then why is it that those that leadoff are slightly worse than those who get the least at-bats? I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make if you reversed it and put better producers at the top since I don't know how to run such a simulation, but it just seems intuitive that you would score a lot more runs this way. 

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

This amuses me. 

 

DodgersGM @DodgersGM30m

When he apologizes to Hiroki Kuroda. RT@MichaELitwin @DodgersGM when will Shane victorino get some dodgers batting gloves?

 

 

TheConman
TheConman

#Dodgers lineup: Victorino 7, Ellis 4, Kemp 8, Ethier 9, Ramirez 6, Loney 3, Hairston 5, Ellis 2, Blanton 1.

WBBsAs
WBBsAs

I am willing to watch all Dodger games for far less than Uribe is getting.

KirkDavenport
KirkDavenport

I don't know if anyone has noticed this much... the Dodgers are rife with players with terrible platoon splits in their batting and with the changing personnel and leaving Uribe to take up the bench place of an effective replacement hitter, there is little that Mattingly can do to prevent putting non-hitters out there.

We know about Loney and Ethier and their problems hitting lefty pitchers. Hanley and A.J hit both lefties and righties almost equally. Kemp has a split, but when you hit 1.200 OPS against lefties and "only" .900 OPS against righties nobody will question leaving him in all the time. The rest of the team is displaying such weakness against lefties or righties and the bench is not adequate enough to cover the problem. Specifically, Cruz, Rivera,Victorino, M.Ellis, Hairston - players who are sent out their virtually every day - are hitting right handed pitchers as a group in the .500 OPS range - in the negative WAR levels.

Mattingly should be sitting all or most of them against right handed pitching. Hairston is not hitting righties well, but better then the others at least What options does Mattingly have?  Kennedy is essentially the only lefty sub now and surprisingly, Uribe has a reverse split and is mediocre against righties while totally sucking against lefties (.666 OPS against righties/.359 OPS against lefties),

Basically it means that against the majority of pitching opponents (righties)  Matting has to send out probably 3 or more players each game who are not hitting righties at even close to major league average level. Fortunately, the current group as a whole do well against lefties. This goes against the historic problems the Dodgers have had against lefties, but does show the need that beyond just needing another bat or two, the team needs some competent lefty bats on the bench or to platoon with Cruz, M.Ellis especially

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

Mike's back to being the unhappy curmudgeon we've grown accustomed to, ranting about things for the umpteenth time.  :)

 

>> When he doesn’t, that will put us one day shy of three full weeks from Uribe’s last start, and while I have no idea how to search for a healthy member of the active roster going that long without starts in a non-September situation, I don’t think any of us can remember a time in recent history where that’s happened.

 

Last year, Eugenio Velez did not start games between August 31 and September 23.

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

If the power struggle theories are correct, Kasten and Guggenheim need to step in and stop the nonsense.  Playing with 24 players in a pennant race is just stupid.  Like little kids fighting over a toy.

Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)
Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)

Just a thought, no evidence, but it sounds right to me.

 

Donnie wants Uribe DFA'd. He knows Uribe has nothing left in the tank and so has no reason to play him. Ned, on the other hand, wants to save face and so refuses to DFA Uribe. So when Sands is brought up, Colletti has every intention that he is going to play regularly, maybe even first base. Donnie, on the other hand, holds Sands hostage until Uribe gets DFA'd. This would explain the quotes about Sands playing more often and getting in the mix at 1st. He wanted the shame Colletti into DFAing Uribe, as only when Colletti does this will Sands play. Colletti, deciding to call his bluff, sends down Sands and leaves Donnie with Uribe and Kennedy.

 

It's the only scenario that I can think of that reasonably explains the whole Sands ordeal.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

 @phattonez7 I really do think that is so much due to Dee at top and AJ on bottom. Infuriating either way.

Paulstralia
Paulstralia

 @JohnM I kinda thought they already had his name etched in the Cy Young trophy. 

Jefe
Jefe

@el serracho That dude's hilarious.

KirkDavenport
KirkDavenport

Mattingly not Matting obviously in the paragraph above - sorry

Jefe
Jefe

@Mike Petriello I heard him say that live during yesterday's game - my mouth hung open for a few moments!

TGP
TGP

@Mike Petriello Is it possible that there is a scenario where your team is down by more runs than an HR would provide where the expected run value of having runners on exceeds the expected run value for an inning where you hit the HR? So essentially you trade the chance at 1 or 2 runs for the increased chance of 3 or 4? Also Norwegian Women's Handball team is super hot.

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

>> Last year, Eugenio Velez did not start games between August 31 and September 23.

 

While that was a "September situation", it's not like it was anything new for him; he also didn't start betweeen August 7 and August 22.

Morry
Morry

@phattonez7 Sound theory, but if Colletti wanted Uribe to stay on the roster and Sands to play everyday why didn't he DFA Rivera when Kennedy came back?

Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)
Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)

 @Mike Petriello Fine, I'm a sucker. I did some calculations. Just switching 1-2 with 7-8 gains you about a half a game worth of wins. I don't think it's that simple and the bonus would be much more than that, but still, Dee Gordon leading off has been and has continued to be a bad idea. 

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

 @JohnM and eff you too, Drew Pomeranz....really, Dodgers, you couldn't hit this bum?  Obviously we don't have players as good as Theriot or Brent Pill in our lineup....

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

@el serracho @JohnM Let's go Rockies!!!

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @TGP  @Mike A bird in the hand applies here. Perhaps also to the Norwegian Women's Handball team. 

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @phattonez7   Sorry, Steve.  Rivera OPS+ 91 in first half, 108 in second half lifetime.  However, most of that was when the corpse still had a pulse.

davstein48
davstein48

 @phattonez7 Another thought. When there is an open feud between GM and manger, it could mean that one has to go. Interesting who ownership might support. Sure we can't stand Ned, But awhile back we were hoping for Wallach.

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

 @phattonez7  @Mike Petriello the simulation wouldn't take into account all the situations that would have gone our way thanks to AJ batting leadoff, so there's no real way to see what-if. I guess if you wanted to, you could go back through every game and re-simulate the game based on what the players did, and if it would have mattered either way. It's gotta be worth more than .5 wins though. 

 

...then again, with those situations, if AJ wasn't at the bottom of the lineup to turn it back over, who knows what would have happened. 

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

 @phattonez7 And Uribe played during the 20-day period Mike cites above.  As Mike mentioned, he hasn't *started* during those 20 days.

KirkDavenport
KirkDavenport

 @Deuce  @phattonez7 the myths do spread and become accepted by too many. Like the "myth" that Loney is a second half hitter. Take away the spurt Loney had last year and he has overall been weaker in the second halves of seasons and sometimes much worse in the second half. Anyone believing that Loney is due to start his second half surge needs to view his stats prior to last year. I would love to believe that Rivera and Loney will turn it on or the stretch run, but the evidence just is not there for that much hope. Both of them are looking at being off the roster for next year. Maybe the possible "myth" of players turning it on for their contract years should wake them up

Morry
Morry

@davstein48 @phattonez7 Don't think he actually likes Rivera but he feels like that is his best option till they eventually acquire a first baseman at some point.

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

 @davstein48 I don't think Donnie is as bad as we make him out to be. It's his 2nd year managing, and he's done his job as a manager as far as I'm concerned. When the clubhouse starts going to shit, that's when I think he's deserving of losing his job. But we have to think that Ned would be the first to go. 

joe
joe

 @davstein48  @phattonez7  id rather rid the organization of anything Giants related. Donnie for now is fine. we are contending.