I'm super excited for our second base situation next year because we picked up a guy this offseason with two (count 'em TWO) World Series rings. This means he's a winner. And winners win. And that's what we want. So therefore, Juan Uribe is Jesus.That's how this post would begin if Curse of the Piazza were a division of the big Dodgers club. Thankfully, we at CotP HQ don't get a cut to be like this guy, so we're going to tell it like it is.
And Juan Uribe is a scary 3-year investment.
Becoming one of the richest players who didn't even have a regular job last year, Uribe inked a deal that has him here in LA through 2013 (or, God-willing, 2012 if the Mayans were right). Colletti absolutely loves his ex-Giants (I think we're still paying Jason Schmidt the equivalent to Bhutan's GDP this year), and Uribe was a big player in San Francisco's World Series campaign last year.
But he also comes with a lifetime .300 on-base percentage, meaning he makes an out 7 times out of ten. Many predict he'll be batting second and getting loads of at-bats. That spells out more hard times for the middle of the order, who will be coming up with more outs and less guys on base. Uribe does have 4 seasons of 20+ homers under his husky-sized belt, meaning he's but another example of Colletti sacrificing on-base percentage for power, while simultaneously sacrificing athleticism for rotundness. In a 162-game season, we've seen guys who have put on pounds unable to sweat it out. So signing Uribe, who has had disciplinary issues in the past with Colorado and the White Sox, to three years sounds like the kind of thing we'll be regretting when he's pushing 300 opening day 2012.
At the same time, it's not like we have many better options. Jamey Carroll showed last year why he's such a valuable piece off the bench, but he's another year older and too weak to be a starter. His OBP makes him an attractive fill-in though and I can definitely see him getting ample playing time as soon as one of the regulars gets hurt.
Among the infielder Spring Training invitees this year are Juan Castro (who has to have photos of Colletti in drag or something to have been invited back again), top prospect Dee Gordon, 24-year old Justin Sellers, the recovering Ivan De Jesus Jr., and Russ Mitchell (talked about him here).
Aside from Gordon, who is merely heading to the big league camp since he's got a definite future, De Jesus and Sellers are certainly the most interesting of the other candidates.
De Jesus was supposed to be a staple of the big team by now, but was derailed in 2009 by a broken leg that kept him out of all but four games. He came back with a decent, but unspectacular, 2010 in Albuquerque and fell off all the top 10 prospects lists. Still, there's no place left for him to rise and he's only 23. Even as he is now, he offers much more than the 38-year old Castro, who seems like he's been around as long as the other crappy Castro.
Sellers is less-known infielder who split time between High-A and AAA Albuquerque last season, showing off impressive plate discipline and decent pop. He plays both middle infield positions and could make a splash with a hot spring.
At the end of the day though, Uribe is our second baseman and he'll provide decent production as well as a good glove. He's a huge improvement over Ryan Theriot, who had no business being a mid-season acquisition by a team trying to make the postseason. Still, he's a glorified utility man being paid $21 million. He'll likely see some time at 3b to spell Casey Blake (and we may even see Blake in LF from time to time to spell both members of that risky platoon) and SS for Furcal. I wouldn't be surprised if our double play duo is as much Carroll/Uribe as any other, considering Raffi's nagging injuries.
I'll give De Jesus the nod for the 25-man roster since he's already on the 40-man and I feel like he'll have a solid Spring. I like him better than Mitchell because we already have power off the bench with the non-starting side of the LF platoon. Uribe is basically backup 3b, Blake/Gibbons are backup 1b, and I think De Jesus offers more with the glove than Mitchell.
Uribe - Starter
DeJesus - Backup
Carroll - Backup
Sellers - AAA
Castro - Euthanized
Gordon - AA
Mitchell - AAA
Predicted 25-Man so far:
C - Rod Barajas
1b - James Loney
2b - Juan Uribe
3b - Casey Blake
SS - Rafael Furcal
LF - Jay Gibbons
C - Dioner Navarro
IF - Ivan De Jesus
UT - Jamey Caroll