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By Jon Weisman
Don Mattingly never came out and said that Juan Uribe had been benched at third base after being the starter there for the past two seasons, but the lineups this month have indicated as much.
With a week to go in May, Uribe has four total bases this month (on four singles) plus a walk. Since making back-to-back starts May 7-8, Uribe has made two starts in the past 16 days.
Speaking to reporters this morning, Mattingly said his intention to keep putting the guys out there who are playing well, and for now that means Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero. On the horizon, of course, is Hector Olivera, who could be on the Major League roster before June is over.
Turner, who has started 11 games at third base this month, has a .421 on-base percentage and .617 slugging percentage in May. As a Dodger, Turner has a .397 OBP while slugging .505. Among players with at least 400 plate appearances, Turner has the fifth-best adjusted OPS in Dodger history, behind Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Mike Piazza and Jack Fournier.
Guerrero has cooled since his Rookie of the Month performance in April. This month, Guerrero has a .283 OBP while slugging .380. He is making his fourth start of the month today at third base and eighth at the position this year, to go with 11 starts in left field.
Today, Kiké Hernandez is making his first start as a Dodger in left field, while Austin Barnes is making his MLB debut at catcher.