02/20/2013 2:17 PM ET
Uribe to get looks all over infield in spring games
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Coming off a second consecutive disappointing season, Juan Uribe will be moved all over the diamond at camp this year to help give the Dodgers a better idea of what the infielder's role will be on Opening Day.
The 33-year-old Uribe, who played third base in 46 of his 47 defensive appearances last season, will likely spend time at each infield position this spring.
"I think he can show his value -- like is he going to be able to handle different positions for us?" manager Don Mattingly said. "We're going to try to expand him a little bit to first base. He's not quite the typical shortstop body type, but if we put him there, he isn't going to be lost, and if we put him at second, he wouldn't be lost either."
The problem with Uribe during his time with the Dodgers hasn't been his glove, but rather his struggles at the plate. In 2011, he hit just .204, and last season .191. The power he showed in his final season with the Giants in 2010, when he blasted a career-high 24 homers, has also disappeared, with Uribe combining for just six long balls over 143 games with Los Angeles.
"He has never been a liability defensively, I think we all know Juan has great hands," Mattingly said. "So he will be a guy who will get at-bats -- at least here in Spring Training -- all over the field. From that point, we'll see how he's swinging the bat."
Even though he hasn't put up the kind of numbers the team originally hoped for, Uribe impressed the club at the tail end of last season when things weren't going his way but he still kept a good attitude.
"You get a guy that is brought in as a free agent, he's a veteran guy, he's played on a couple of World Series teams and all of the sudden he's not really playing at all," Mattingly said. "He could've very easily been a disruption in the clubhouse, but he wasn't. He showed himself to be a good teammate and a guy that can help other guys. He had a great attitude about it. I think it was important to recognize that."
As for where most of Uribe's opportunities will come from, that is still up in the air, depending on how incumbent third baseman Luis Cruz handles being the everyday starter.
"At this point, with what Cruz was able to do last year, he comes in and gets the first shot," Mattingly said. "I'm hoping Plan A works out, but we know we have to have backup ideas and the flexibility to move around."
Rain forces Dodgers camp indoors at Camelback
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A day after blue skies and temperatures in the 70s made for a picturesque workout at Camelback Ranch, dark clouds and rain on Wednesday replaced the perfect Spring Training weather. The inclimate weather forced the Dodgers to adjust their schedule, as the club moved all activities -- including stretching -- indoors to escape the wet fields.
The pitchers who were scheduled to throw live batting practice Wednesday -- Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano and Paco Rodriguez -- still threw; there just wasn't anyone swinging at the pitches.
"They'll do their work, they just won't actually be facing a hitter," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "There will still be someone in there standing at the plate, though."
• The Dodgers began a team Ping-Pong tournament Wednesday, featuring eight doubles teams in a double-elimination bracket.
The first victory of the competition went to Peter Moylan and Mark Lowe, who defeated the duo of Carl Crawford and Tony Gwynn Jr.
Each team made up an off-the-cuff nickname to call itself, with the pair of Mark and A.J. Ellis going by "The Law Firm."
• Still rehabbing from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery performed last August, Crawford is steadily progressing at Dodgers camp with no setbacks.
"We haven't had anything go on that raised a red flag," Mattingly said. "Carl is coming off major surgery, so anything that is happening with him is designed. When he has a heavy day, the next day will be light."
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.