Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/15/12

Maybe they should call it the Solid Seven.  It certainly hasn’t been nine of late.

Juan Uribe has seemingly been number four on the depth chart this season when it comes to Dodgers third basemen.

The Dodgers find themselves in first place with seven starters and two other “who-the-hell-will-it-be” players rounding out the line-up.  The “hell” part is coming from the corner positions.

Third base has been somewhat of a mess since Juan Uribe, signed to a fat $24 million deal in 2011, decided to take the money and sit. Dodgers fans were willing to give Uribe a pass on his useless season last year (.204, 4 HR in 77 games) because he suffered a myriad of injuries.  Well, no more free passes for Uribe; even if he has been bothered by a troublesome wrist.

He is currently batting .186 with two home runs and 17 RBI.  Uribe has been such a disappointment, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has decided that a cast of aging cast-offs can do better.

Uribe has been aced out by a bunch of journeymen veterans, including Adam Kennedy, 36, Jerry Hairston, 36 and Luis Cruz, who is only 28 but had failed to latch on with five other organizations before the Dodgers picked him up.  It is almost like Uribe is the fourth option at third these days (though Hairston just went on the DL).  The biggest surprise may be Cruz who seems to earn more playing time each time he is given a chance.  Cruz, who never hit better than .235 in three other stints at the major league level, is batting .270 in 33 games.   He has gone 6 for 10 in his last three games.

Although Uribe is still under contract through next year, the acquisition of Hanley Ramirez could spell the end to Uribe ever becoming an everyday starter.  Ramirez is patrolling shortstop for now because Dee Gordon is still recovering from a thumb injury.  If Gordon can return and find a batting stroke,  chances are Uribe will be one of those guys the Dodgers are paying even though they let him go.

A guy who may end up exiting right behind Uribe when the season ends is first baseman James Loney.  Loney is batting .251 with two home runs.  The left handed hitter is hitting a paltry .216 versus left handed pitchers.  Kennedy,  Hairston, and veteran Juan Rivera, have all pushed Loney, a man who has played an average of 160 games a year the last four years ago, aside when the time calls for it.

Loney is a free agent after this season.  I’ve got to believe the Dodgers, who rank last in the majors in home runs, will try hard to get someone who can provide the kind of power one expects from a position usually associated with home runs.

Billingsley-scary when hairy

It’s all about the hair; at least for Chad Billingsley.

A barely facial-haired Chad Billingsley was 4-9 at the All-Star break ……

The Dodgers starting pitcher was heading south both statistically as well as rotation-wise in 2012 when the All-Star break mercifully halted his slide.  On July 7th, Billingsley was 4-9 and had lost his previous five starts. His solid 3.57 ERA ballooned to 4.30.

Manager Don Mattingly sent a “get it together” message when he revamped the rotation and moved Billingsley from the number two spot to the number four slot in order to reward Chris Capuano who was 9-3. Then to add injury to insult, Billingsley suffered inflammation in his elbow and found himself on the 15 day DL from July 8th until the 23rd.  He went on the DL as Delilah but seems to have returned as Samson.

Since his return, Billingsley is 5-0 with a 1.29 ERA.  He is also a lot hairier.  And therein might lie the secret.

…..but is 5-0 since he decided to go with a  full-on beard.

Billingsley entered spring training clean shaven and grew a little goatee as the season wore on. But since his return from the DL, Billingsley has let it all hang out and now sports a full beard. I say take a lesson from the Giants Brian Wilson and simply let it go. Stay hairy, my friend.

Warming Up to L.A.

Shane Victorino has finally gone from a simmer to a flame.

Victorino got just two hits in his first 17 at bats as a Dodger.  But he has since gone 12 for 40 (.300) and takes an eight game hitting streak into the third game of the four game series against the Pirates.

A failed test that may give the Dodgers a pass

San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, has been suspended for 50 games after he tested positive for excessive testosterone levels.  Hopefully, the Dodgers can take advantage of their division rivals losing one of their big bats.

Cabrera is batting .346 with 11 home runs.  It is almost easy to accept these results given Cabrera never batted higher than .280 or hit more than 13 home runs in a season for his first six years and then jumped to a .305 BA with 201 hits and 18 HR last year with the Royals.

Dodgers president opens up

Team president Stan Kasten is continuing to make good on his promise to be accessible to fans.

On Wednesday, August 29th, while the Dodgers are in Colorado, he will be opening up both himself and the Dodger Stadium gates to fans for a Q&A session with him.  The event is free and will be moderated by  Los Angeles Times sports editor Bill Dwyre.  Beginning August 20th, fans interested in attending can make a reservation by clicking here.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs ace Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release two-time Pro Bowl CB Tim Jennings

Indians president Mark Shapiro jumps to same role in Toronto

Tom Coughlin: Victor Cruz not expected to practice this week

Report: Redskins ownership won't let coaches bail on RG3


D'Angelo Russell: 'There's a lot of spoiled Lakers fans'

Terry Collins didn't challenge double out of fear of HR

Has Tim Lincecum thrown his last pitch for the Giants?

Jerry Jones is enthralled with ‘vintage’ Darren McFadden

Report: Three NFL head coaches were interested in Michigan job

Odell Beckham Jr. is not intimidated of Darrelle Revis

U.S. Open women's preview: Can anyone stop Serena?

Buffalo Bills need to start Tyrod Taylor at quarterback

WATCH: Broncos defender drops Reggie Bush, skirmish ensues

U.S. Open men's preview: Will there be a surprise champion?

Big Papi crushes Syndergaard pitch for 494th homer

Virginia Tech honoring slain journalists with helmet stickers

AJ Green on contract: 'All the receivers are getting bank'

Clippers owner rejects $60 million annual TV rights deal

Saints thank residents of New Orleans on 10th Katrina anniversary

Fan delivers In-N-Out Burger to Tyler Seguin during game

A tribute to 76ers legend Darryl Dawkins

Five teams with the best NBA schedule in 2015-2016

South Carolina to honor Charleston shooting victims with sticker

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

U.S. Open men's preview

U.S. Open women's preview

D'Angelo Russell zings Lakers fans

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

Fantasy football round-by-round draft strategy

Ronda Rousey's Carl’s Jr. ad

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker