Can Juan Uribe Still Be Valuable to the Dodgers If They Reach October?

Richard LeivenbergContributor IIIAugust 20, 2012

Juan Uribe has been a huge disappointment
Juan Uribe has been a huge disappointmentHarry How/Getty Images

When baseball historians look back on the Los Angeles Dodgers season of 2012, they will invariably talk about it as the World Championship that was won in spite of Juan Uribe.

Yes, the Dodgers will win it all this year, but it will be without any noteworthy contribution from their overpaid third baseman.

As of Sunday, the Dodgers had won 11 of 17 games in August and had blown past both the Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates while taking the lead in the NL West. They have had great momentum since they picked up Hanley Ramirez from the Florida Marlins, and their offensive punch has definitely increased.

But their success has come without the aid of Uribe, who has been relegated to a platoon system.

This was not the case when he was with the archrival San Francisco Giants, for whom Uribe was a force to be reckoned with. During the Giants' championship season of 2012, Uribe hit 24 home runs and 85 RBI. He played a vital role for the Giants in the World Series, hitting a three-run home run in the sixth inning of Game 1 and producing an RBI in the seventh inning of Game 2.

Uribe's accomplishments led to a $21 million, three-year contract with the Dodgers that has been mostly regrettable.

In his first season with the Dodgers, he appeared in only 77 games, sidelined by several trips to the disabled list. His production was also the weakest of his career, hitting just .204 with four home runs and 28 RBI. His season was cut short by a season-ending surgery.

The 2012 season can only be deemed a disaster. He has had 157 at-bats and is batting .185 with two home runs.

He has been replaced at third base by Adam Kennedy, Jerry Hairston, Jr. and, most recently, Luis Cruz, who has been remarkably productive at the plate with four home runs and an average of .286.

Uribe is not an asset to the Dodgers and should be let go. They can eat his contract and write off the experience as a bad gamble.

With Cruz filling in at third, they have a younger, hungrier, better-equipped player at the position.  He may not be your classic power player at the hot corner, but Cruz has become a noteworthy contributor to the Dodgers' season.

They surely do not need Uribe as they make their championship run.