The redemption tour of Juan Uribe continued on Monday with its finest moment, as the Dodgers third baseman slammed three home runs against the Diamondbacks. In a season full of unlikely turnarounds for Uribe, Monday took the cake for the most likeable player in the clubhouse.
"It was a nice night for him. The boys have a lot of fun with him," said manager Don Mattingly after the game, as shown on the Prime Ticket broadcast. "It was obviously a good win for us, but to see Juan do it was kind of nice."
It wasn't always this way for Uribe, who hit a combined .199/.262/.289 with six home runs in 2011-2012 in the first two seasons of his three-year, $21 million contract. He had hit three home runs in only two different months for the Dodgers, in April 2011 and July 2013.
Uribe ended 2012 as the forgotten man on the bench, but to his credit was still a supportive teammate, so much so that Mattingly singled Uribe out after the season as a great example even though a healthy Uribe stared just one of the final 66 games of the season.
Luis Cruz was last year's half-season wonder, and began 2013 as the starting third baseman, keeping Uribe on the bench. But not for long, as Cruz hit just .121/.175/.169 with three extra-base hits in 45 games before getting designated for assignment.
Uribe had three extra-base hits on Monday, and they all happened to leave the park. It was as easy as one...
But even before Uribe's big night on Monday, he was having a solid year. He was holding his own at the plate, hitting .271/.327/.392 all while providing superior defense at the hot corner.
Juan Uribe doesn't get enough credit for his defense. Legitimate gold glove candidate.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) September 10, 2013
My NL gold glove at third base would go to Nolan Arenado or Uribe. Would bet it ends up going to Wright or Headley.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) September 10, 2013
Chd Moriyama further investigated Uribe's gold glove case and came away amazed at the third baseman's resurgent season.
Mike Petriello at Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness also wrote about Uribe's comeback season and noted what we're all thinking: "Now, we’re actually going to have to have a serious conversation this winter about whether the Dodgers should bring him back, and that’s not a place I’d ever thought we’d be."
Whether he is back or not in 2014, Monday night was a night to remember for Uribe, who was the man of the hour. Well deserved.
Welcome to Juan's World: pic.twitter.com/eBzFyhIUxy— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 10, 2013