2013 Dodgers review: Juan Uribe

Harry How

The Dodgers third baseman put up a fine season in 2013, and supplied one unforgettable moment in October.

Juan Uribe stuck around after two awful seasons and the Dodgers were mighty glad he did, as the third baseman put up one of the finest bounce-back seasons you'll ever see.

What went right

Uribe improved in every facet of his game in 2013, turning the Dodgers' production at third base from a question mark to an exclamation point. After hitting just .199/.262/.289 with six home runs in 2011-2012 combined, Uribe hit .278/.331/.438 with 12 home runs this season, setting career highs in on-base percentage, OPS+ (117), wRC+ (116), rWAR (4.1) and fWAR (5.2).

He lost out on a first career Gold Glove Award to Nolan Arenado of the Rockies, but Uribe led the National League in both Total Zone Rating (22 runs above average) and in Ultimate Zone Rating (24 runs above average). Uribe made just five errors all season and set an L.A. Dodgers record for fielding percentage at third base (.983).

He was even successful on the bases. After stealing 41 bases and getting caught 38 times in his career entering 2013, Uribe was 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts this season.

Uribe punctuated his comeback campaign with a signature moment. Down a run to the Braves in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the NLDS, Uribe crushed a pitch from David Carpenter into the Dodgers bullpen for a 4-3 win to eliminate Atlanta and send the Dodgers to the NLCS

As catcher A.J. Ellis said after the NLDS, "If you ask everyone in this clubhouse who is their favorite teammate, 95 percent will tell you Juan Uribe."

What went wrong

Maybe if Uribe wasn't so terrible for two years the Dodgers wouldn't have felt compelled to stick with Luis Cruz at third base to open 2013.

Uribe in 69 games outside the division hit just .254/.313/.339 with two home runs, 17 runs scored and 14 RBI, though given his 2011-2012 output we probably would have gladly accepted that before the season. But this is more of a nitpick, because the flip side is that Uribe destroyed the NL West, hitting .302/.349/.533 with 10 home runs, 36 RBI and 30 runs scored in 62 games.

2014 status

Uribe will be a free agent beginning on either Wednesday or Thursday (the morning after the World Series ends), his three-year, $21 million contract now complete, save for $1 million deferred salary the Dodgers will owe him in 2014.

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