Dodgers play waiting game with Juan Uribe's hamstring injury

Matt King

Uribe on Sunday missed his third straight game with a strained right hamstring.

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe was unavailable even to pinch hit on Sunday against the Giants, his third straight game missed after straining his right hamstring on Thursday against San Francisco. The Dodgers roster remains in limbo as the team continues to wait to make a decision on whether to place Uribe on the disabled list.

"Again, he had a good day. I know I keep saying it, but tomorrow we'll find out more," manager Don Mattingly said after the game. "It's just going to get a point where how many days are you willing to go. We've survived to this point."

Uribe ran before the game to test his right hamstring but was not cleared to play. There was some hope of the Dodgers possibly having him available to pinch hit on Sunday.

"Everyone is feeling better that hopefully he'll stay away from the disabled list, but until we get out here and do some running and try to get to full speed we won't know," Mattingly said. "If you can't run, you can't play."

Uribe is hitting .306/.338/.463 with nine doubles and four home runs in 35 games, and is by all accounts the best defender on the team. In his place, Justin Turner has started two games at third base and Chone Figgins once.

The main reason the Dodgers are willing to wait for Uribe to heal before making a roster decision is because there isn't anyone in the minors they'd feel comfortable enough to start at the hot corner in the interim.

Alex Guerrero is hitting .341/.398/.588 in 27 games with Triple-A Albuquerque, but the team wants him to get comfortable at second base, a new position for him. Yes, he was a former shortstop in Cuba, but as we near two year since he last played there it becomes more and more unlikely the Dodgers would have Guerrero's first time at third base come in the majors.

The other two defensive options on the 40-man are having trouble hitting in their respective leagues. Carlos Triunfel is hitting .226/.270/.269 in 26 games with the Isotopes and Erisbel Arruebarrena is hitting just .143/.214/.197 in 19 games with Double-A Chattanooga.

But that doesn't make playing with essentially a 24-man roster any more attractive. If Uribe is going to miss the better part of the next week anyway, the club is better suited to have someone up as an extra player, preferably a bat, on the bench.

That makes Guerrero the most likely option to be recalled should the Dodgers to decide to place Uribe on the disabled list, which they can do retroactively to Friday so Uribe could be activated as early as May 24. Guerrero didn't play for Albuquerque on Sunday, which could mean something or might not mean anything at all.

But, as Mattingly said, we'll know more on Monday.

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