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Dodgers wait on their dream of Jerry Sands, reassign him to minors

Everyone’s man-crush on Jerry Sands will have to be put on hold.

After Thursday’s game, the Dodgers reassigned the much-admired Sands  and shortstop Justin Sellers to their minor league camp.

The Next Great Thing will have to live for another day.

Which, come on, is the way it should be. Sands is their reigning minor league player of the year. He reeks of potential. He is most definitely in their plans, just not their immediate plans.

Remember, he split last season between Class-A Great Lakes and double-A Chattanooga. He tore it up at both levels, but this is still a player who’s  been in their minor-league system for only three years with half a season of double-A ball behind him.

He may even start the season back at Chattanooga, and then get moved up to triple-A Albuquerque at midseason. Maybe gets a September call-up.

But right now, he needs more at-bats. Needs some seasoning. Do not rush him.

I know, it’s hard. He’s 6 feet 4, 225 pounds and Manager Don Mattingly has compared him physically to Matt Holiday. And he was leading the team in hitting this spring (.364, with a .773 slugging percentage).

Plus, though listed as a corner infielder, he can play the outfield. And considering the Dodgers have no true starting left-fielder, I get the temptation.

It’s so dreamy and all, I get it. But the Dodgers are better served long term, and probably short term, to start the season with some three-headed combination of Jay Gibbons, Marcus Thames and Tony Gwynn Jr. in left and let Sands develop at something approaching a normal pace.

If they crash and burn, and Sands continues to own the minors, maybe he even gets called up earlier this season.

For now, let him develop. It would help if they felt certain which position was in his future. Outfield or first base (James Loney is 26), or do they try to groom him to take over for Casey Blake at third?

The Dodgers’ pipeline has dried up the past few years, but Sands could lead the next wave. If they just give him a little time.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Comments () | Archives (16)

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"Maybe he gets a September call-up. But right now, he needs more at-bats. Needs some seasoning. Do not rush him."

There is zero expectations for this team so why not play him now?

UNLESS, he's going down to the minors to learn to play first base... Nah, Ned isn't that smart.

It's good to know we got Sands waiting in the wings.

Just like Kemp when he first came up, he'll probably get some exposure this year, maybe mid-year. He'll struggle and then be up for good in 2012. It's not all bad. We can wait.

Encouraging more is the little tidbit of info that he can possibly play 3rd... Enough to put his bat at the hot corner and hope for the best, or see where his glove plays the best?

Now As for the "Zero expectation" crowd with PSL's for the next bandwagon, I hear your next truck warming in Lot J And driver Jayson Grabowski's driving that beast up 101 to support for new love for The Tripple AAA's buy the Bay to show off their Bling. It's Spring Training. Wake up Gnat fans put on your birkenstocks & 30WT beard cream and witness the end of the dream and hang your target banners with care', cos for 9 innings and 7 runs later, they wont be there. It's going to be BLUE All the Way in '11 And the Parade goes all the way to Beantown to replace the mudgrille of this rig (We'll call it Frank McCourt bumbper duty)and place a full-featured frontloader on the beast, then knock down every pretty park we come across (Save for Wrigleyville there is plenty of class there) . IDC who the B-Owner of this team is, it is time to nut it up and kick @$$. Ambien is catching up so I'm out.

good gawds DG, what did you take that Ambien with, a quart of JD?

Sands is not on the 40-man roster, so that doomed him to another start in the minors. Plus, they don't want to start the arbitration clock and turn him into a Super 2 by having him spend the entire year with the big club. It's all for the best, as he has yet to even play at AAA, so let's see him tear up the PCL and then make a mid-season appearance.

Play Gibbons against right-handed pitchers, Thames against lefties, bring in Gwynn once the Dodgers have the lead, and bring Sands up in September for a cup of coffee.

I love the kid but he honestly cant play 3rd and wont be asked to for an extended period of time...they tried last year and some in the AFL but the experiment wasnt that successful...His bat and power will play in the outfield. He will be a good corner outfielder not great. He struggled when he first came up in AA so although seeing he can rake in st he does need a little seasoning hopefully in AA so they can see if he can really hit like some think he can unlike in AAA where it is totally hitter friendly

I find it commical that posters on this sight have such a negative opinion of not just the 11' dodgers but them in general. If the poster who wrote "There is zero expectations for this team" actually paid attention to the team he would know that this team has a chance to be really good. I don't want to give a position by position breakdown but if health issues are not a major concern this team WILL be a factor in the NL West. Mark my WORDS!

I got $5 that say Jay Gibbons doesnt even make the team.

>> Play Gibbons against right-handed pitchers, Thames against lefties, bring in Gwynn once the Dodgers have the lead...

I don't think that's fair. I think Gwynn should get more playing time than that.

A good long term decision, which is hard to do when you really could use a bat. If the OF platoon struggles or Blake is hurt/done, he will be ready for a quick callup.

Ridiculous. They should have given him "more at bats" in the Spring games, where it doesn't count. This raises a lot of questions about how this team is managed.

Pathetic. This organization has no idea what they are doing. The 2011 Dodgers will be one of if not the worst team ever in Dodger history. Guaranteed.

67-95, that's the record I expect from this team this season. They will start off hot thanks to a weak schedule, but sooner or later the wheels will come off...

Sands is not just hype. He is a good baseball player. Did some research and not many guys hit 35 HRs in a minor league season, and his power numbers were better the year before in lower levels as they should be. He has a simple swing and aproach at the plate nothing fancy, no holes. He runs well. Didn't see him play in the minors but looked smooth this spring in the field. He was a college draft pick so he started further along in his development meaning less time is needed in the minors. There is no reason to believe that given 500abs in the show he wouldn't hit 20-25hrs with .270,.350,.500 clip which is propably what Gibbons/Thames will combine for. Gibbons should not make this team. Gwynn should start and when may comes along and Gwynn stops hitting Sands should be called up sharp from playing everyday in AAA every day and be given at least till the deadline with alot of playing time to show what he can do. Ultimately Gwynn and Thames are good guys to have on the bench and Gibbons could make a good bartender. Anything less for Sands and Dodger fans would be a wasted year.


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