Daily Distractions: Will Juan Uribe win his first Gold Glove award this year?

Juan Uribe

Juan Uribe’s fielding percentage at third base (.985) is second in the majors. (Getty Images)


When the Miami Marlins placed third baseman Placido Polanco on the 7-day disabled list prior to their series against the Dodgers, it spoiled a possible matchup between … wait for it … the top two candidates at third base for a Gold Glove award in the National League.

The Dodgers’ Juan Uribe ranks second among MLB third basemen with a .985 fielding percentage in 93 games (73 starts) at the hot corner. Uribe has committed just three errors in 200 total chances in 655 innings at third, behind only Polanco (.988) for the top fielding percentage by a third baseman this year.

Amidst two seasons (2011-12) of execrable offense in Los Angeles, Uribe’s play in the field was often the only valid reason to have him in the lineup. This year he’s been even better, particularly at the plate but also in the field. Uribe has committed fewer errors at third base than he did in twice as many games at the position last year (four errors in 46 games).

In 13 major-league seasons, the 34-year-old has never won a Gold Glove award. A shortstop early in his career with the White Sox and Rockies, Uribe finally played a plurality of his games at third base beginning in 2008 in Chicago. He moved back to the National League the following year, signing with the San Francisco Giants, then the Dodgers in 2011.

Five different National league third basemen have won the award the last five years, including Polanco in 2011. That often helps create a wide-open race, as voters tend to err on the side of history. It also helps that Uribe, who’s batting .283 with seven home runs, has some semblance of a swing this season (which for some reason matters in the Gold Glove selection process).

Some bullet points for a Thursday morning:

USA Today selected Dodgers minor leaguer Joc Pederson for its weekly prospects feature, initially misspelled his last name in the headline (it’s not “Peterson”), and concluded that “the 21-year old Pederson could be patrolling the outfield at Chavez Ravine with Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp perhaps as soon as some time in 2014.”

• Happy birthday to a pair of former Dodger pitchers and San Fernando Valley natives: Randy Wolf and Jeff Weaver, both born 36 years ago today.

• Interesting stat on the KCAL broadcast last night. Five pitchers drafted by the Dodgers in 2008 have started a game this season: Ethan Martin (now with Philadelphia), Josh Lindblom (Texas), Nathan Eovaldi (Miami), Allen Webster (Boston) and Matt Magill (Dodgers). Dee Gordon and Jerry Sands were also part of that draft class.

Geison Aguasviva started yesterday’s game for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga around 7 p.m. and lasted just 3 ⅓ innings. As fate would have it, the game was still going past midnight, the opposing pitcher and manager were ejected in the 13th inning, and the Quakes ultimately won 18-16. Eight pitchers appeared for both teams, and remarkably no position players took the hill.

• This has nothing to do with sports, but who cares: have you heard about the guy who wants to clone John Lennon?

• Here’s a criminally underrated tune from Lennon’s solo career:

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.