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Mattingly standing by Uribe amid struggles

Mattingly standing by Uribe amid struggles

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Mattingly standing by Uribe amid struggles
LOS ANGELES -- Despite Juan Uribe's 1-for-31 slump, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he's sticking by his third baseman in hopes he'll turn things around.

"Never," he said in response to giving up on Uribe. "From the standpoint of he's here, we've got to try to keep working and keep trying to get something out of him. I know it hasn't been pretty, but to give up on a guy, that is just quitting and that's not in my DNA. I just don't think that's right."

After missing 28 games with an injured left wrist, Uribe has picked up only six hits since returning on June 11. He is batting .193 on the season with only 26 hits and 13 RBIs in 135 at-bats.

But Mattingly isn't planning on not playing Uribe altogether.

"As long as he'll keep working and trying, I don't think we can give up," said Mattingly, who said the same thing about first baseman James Loney. "Does that mean he's going to play a ton? Not necessarily. But that doesn't mean you give up on him. I have to look at other options at third base."

On Monday, Jerry Hairston started at third despite a pair of costly throwing errors on Sunday.

And while the Dodgers are looking for an upgrade at the position going forward, the team isn't rushing to bring up Josh Fields from Triple-A Albuquerque, thanks to a lack of roster spots. However, that doesn't mean the organization hasn't noticed he is hitting .343 with eight home runs and 50 RBIs for Albuquerque.

"We've paid attention to Josh Fields. I've seen what he has been doing," Mattingly said. "Right now, he's not on the [40-man] roster, so it involves making a move that somebody has to come off and that is where you run into trouble."

Fields hit 23 home runs in 2007 as a rookie with the White Sox and he has the ability to play first and third base, two positions the Dodgers are seeking to improve.

Mattingly said moving injured reliever Todd Coffey to the 60-day disabled list could be an option, but the possibility of adding a piece at the Trade Deadline and an unwillingness to give up on a current players makes that an unlikely move.

"Making a move entitles taking somebody off and losing another guy," Mattingly said. "It depends who you are willing to lose."

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