Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Letting Go Of Urine

"Look, I can't hold it any longer, Doc. It's all yours."

Wagons are circling around Juan "Urine" Uribe. And given the girth of Uribe, it's unsurprising that there are a lot of wagons in circling position.

First, the LAT's Steve Dilbeck:

Players coming -- Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier -- mean players going, and that's where it gets interesting for the Dodgers.

These things are often more intriguing in theory than in actual execution, but in the midst of a four-day break, you take your intrigue where it can be found.

If Kemp is activated from the disabled list Friday as scheduled, then Scott Van Slyke is heading back to triple-A Albuquerque. But if Ethier is also activated Friday, then what?

It might mean the end of the Luis Cruz stint, but with Dee Gordon out for six weeks, somebody has to play shortstop. It could mean Elian Herrera has run his course, though despite his current slump (.137, 7 for 51), he’s proved to be a valuable addition and Don Mattingly likes him.

And then there are the more adventurous options, Adam Kennedy and ... Juan Uribe. [...]

Uribe has been a major bust in his 1½ seasons with the Dodgers (.201, five homers, 41 RBIS), and offers absolutely no indication that things are about to change. He's seldom been healthy and is currently battling a sore ankle; he’s also in an 0-for-27 skid.

But one other thing of note: He's owed $12 million through next season. That's a lot to swallow to keep Herrera. Kennedy is only owed approximately $400,000 on the rest of his one-year contract. Much easier to take.

Swallowing urine doesn't sound appealing, I know. But Howard Cole thinks we should just get it over with:

One thing is sure: the Juan Uribe experiment is this close to ending. To be precise, he’s got a maximum of six days left, and maybe not even that.

If Los Angeles makes a trade or two during the All-Star break, the acquiring men need not be activated until play resumes next Friday. Doesn’t mean the Dodgers will wait that long for a corresponding move, but they can if they like.

And of course, if the first new player is a pitcher, L.A. certainly doesn’t have to adios a third baseman. Doesn’t mean they won’t anyway. Tell me the most obvious statement about winning the club can make to the remaining 24 players isn’t the designating for assignment of the least useful one.

Jon Weisman, citing the Traveling Wilburys ("End of the Line"), agrees:

Unless the Dodgers are willing to start giving Uribe time at shortstop – he played 21 2/3 innings there in 2011 after 103 games for the Giants at short in 2010 – Cruz is staying. That leaves a battle for the final roster spot between Uribe, Elian Herrera and Adam Kennedy.

The choice might seem obvious, but you can’t rule out the possibility of Herrera, who has minor-league options, going back to the Isotopes. He’s been 100 times more fun to watch than Uribe and his versatility is an asset, but once Kemp and Ethier are back in their starting roles, Mark Ellis is re-entrenched at second base and Bobby Abreu, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Juan Rivera are holding down left field, there’s going to be less call for Herrera to roam around the diamond. That’s not to say that he’s without a purpose, but with his own slump to a .326 on-base percentage and .335 slugging, the difference between him, Uribe and Kennedy (.315 OBP, .309 slugging) isn’t overwhelming.

By optioning Herrera, the Dodgers can put off making a final decision on Uribe or Kennedy, neither of whom can be sent down. The question is whether those decisions need any more putting off. Do the Dodgers see any hope left in Uribe? Before you answer, note that Andruw Jones has an .820 OPS in more than 1,000 plate appearances since the Dodgers got rid of him.

My instinct is to cut Uribe, but I wouldn’t call it an automatic decision. The defense is there, and once Ethier and Kemp are back, you don’t lose much by sending Herrera down and keeping Uribe as a defensive specialist who bats eighth, nor by just getting rid of Kennedy, who doesn’t give you defense or a bat (.617 OPS against right-handed pitching).

Finally, Stacie Wheeler of Lasorda's Lair checks in, even using the curious term "third sacker":

During the offseason Uribe supposedly was working out and had lost some weight while in his home country of the Dominican Republic. Ned Colletti had reportedly paid him a visit and spoke to him about what was expected from him. When he showed up to Spring Training, there was comments about his physique, but I honestly didn’t see a difference. In fact, Juan has been even more terrible so far this season than his horrendous season prior. He’s been hurt off and on with an arthritic wrist or is it a sprained ankle this week? In 44 games, Uribe can’t even hit at the Mendoza Line and is sporting a .194 batting average with one measly homerun and 12 RBIs.

I’ve had enough, and it frankly frustrates me to no end watching his horrific flailing swing. It’s time for the Dodgers to move on from the Juan Uribe disaster and find a acceptable third-sacker. It was August before the Dodgers finally cut the washed up Garrett Anderson in 2010, can we please pull the plug sooner this time? Sure, the Dodgers are going to have to eat the rest of his salary which I believe is about $12 million remaining. Sometimes the hardest choices aren’t cheap.


Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

I do not want to google "urine sample".

Hideo Nomo said...

Eric Collins is fond of the term "third-sacker." That should tell you all you need to know.

spank said...

We must dispose of urine.

Franklin Stubbs said...

Let's release Urine right away, future embarrassment be damned!

Dusty Baker's Toothpick said...

I've had a lot my jobs in my time, but the only one that req'd a urine test was for a sound engineer job at a country western club. Go figure. Maybe they wanted to confirm I was a beer swigging whiskey shooter before hiring?

Dusty Baker's Toothpick said...

Back to the subject at hand, I bet they DL Urine with his pansy ankle swelling to accommodate the roster. Everyone survives the cut for now.

Hideo Nomo said...

If no trades are made before the end of the break, I say Hererra goes down. Urine and Kennedy will be jettisoned into space to make room on the 40-man for trade acquisitions.

Franklin Stubbs said...

I have somehow managed to achieve a semi-respectable level of professional success without having to pee in a cup,

which is fortunate, because lord knows they probably should have.

Steve Sax said...

@Gnomes 1:58p: how much fuel would be required to jettison Urine into space? I shudder to think about the size of that booster rocket.

Wicks said...

release the bum and fire Ned after the season is over.

Dusty Baker said...

I never understand the whole swallowing thing. I mean, the whole thing about teams being hesitant to swallow money.

They're going to have to pay him either way. So what besides ego is holding them back from DFA'ing him, paying him NOT to suck and ruin games for us? In fact, it would probably be a net GAIN to have him far away from the team.

Put ego aside and get rid of this fat emo fuck. I'd rather see a rookie struggle but try hard.

Steve Sax said...

think of the post-game spread savings