July 14, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Skip Schumaker (55) throws to first to complete an out during the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers’ Little Name Players Deserve more Recognition

Yasiel Puig throws a cannon from right field to nail the runner out at third base on a single, wow! Adrian Gonzalez hits a double in the gap in left-center, two runs score! Hanley Ramirez hits a two run home run to take make the lead 2-0, Dodgers! Zack Greinke gets his 13th victory after throwing for 8 2/3 innings against the Cubs! Clayton Kershaw throws for eight innings, shutting out the Marlins hitters! The Dodgers big names are taking most of the credit in the victories lately and sports writers tend to write about the big names because people know who they are and their big reputation. Well, it’s time for the Dodgers fans to give more credit and recognition to the little name players like Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker, Juan Uribe, Paco Rodriguez, Ricky Nolasco and many more players that played this season. These players will gladly step aside from the spotlight, even though they really deserve it. Without these players knowing what their roles are, the Dodgers wouldn’t be in the middle of a playing for the best record in the National League right now.

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Punto, known as the Shredder and Lil Pony, plays every game with hustle. Punto will do anything to help the team win, like sliding head first into first base! No one slides into first base more than Punto. Punto, who came over to the Dodgers in the mega blockbuster that brought Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to Los Angeles from Boston, was actually the key piece that the Dodgers wanted the most. But with Punto’s small contract of 1.5 million, Punto will always be known to people around the MLB as a throw in the trade. Punto has one world series ring, which he won with the St. Louis Cardinals three years ago. Schumaker has two world series rings. Schumaker, came to the Dodgers in a trade with the Cardinals in the offseason, also played with Punto on his second Cardinals world series team. Punto and Schumaker are leaders in the clubhouse and brought the whole clubhouse together and because of Punto and Schumaker, the players were able to really trust each other.

Uribe, whom I am so happy for him to be able to play this season in full health and is really contributing to the Dodgers on the field. Uribe hasn’t got much playing time because of injuries that held him out for almost all of the last two seasons. Uribe also lost the starting job to former Dodger, Luis Cruz, last season. During that time, Uribe had earned a lot of respect from all around the clubhouse because he was being a really good teammate and was supporting and rooting for his teammates to play well, instead of pouting on the bench about not playing on the field. Uribe is putting himself in position to might be winning his first gold glove of his career. Uribe who is second to Miami Marlins third baseman Placido Polanco in the National league in defense. Uribe’s defense and bat are a huge reason why the Dodgers are in first place and for that the Dodgers fans should appreciate that.

Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Rodriguez, Chris Withrow and Kenley Jansen, Nolasco and Hyun-jin Ryu and Stephen Fife, A.J. Ellis, Tim Federowicz and many more players that played on the Dodgers this season, have all have played so many key roles in the Dodgers magical season and they do not get a enough credit because they are not big names. In my book, these little name players are all-stars because they have been players that stepped up when others have struggled in games. The small names have been and will be a huge part of the run to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

Tags: A.J. Ellis Adrian Gonzalez Carl Crawford Chris Withrow Clayton Kershaw Dodgers Hanley Ramirez Hyun-jin Ryu Josh Beckett Juan Uribe Kenley Jansen Nick Punto Paco Rodriguez Ricky Nolasco Skip Schumaker Stephen Fife Tim Federowicz Yasiel Puig Zack Greinke

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