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A bright spot shines through the Dodgers' despair

Sands_275 We interrupt this daily barrage of the Dodgers’ injury report, ownership meltdown and general you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me team performance, with something truly different -- good news!

That’s right, boys and girls, there was something positive to take away from the Dodgers’ dismal 8-3 loss to the White Sox on Sunday, other than dodging tornadoes and safely getting out of Chicago.

Jerry Sands.

Yep, the would-be rookie wunderkind had his best weekend. Patience with a player who started last season in Class A might be paying off.

Ever since I started to wonder if all those balls he was hitting to right might be reason to think he’s just not quite ready for prime time, he came through a Chicago weekend where suddenly he was pulling everything.



On his 100th plate appearance Sands collected his first home run, sending a ball into the White Sox bullpen on Saturday. Then on Sunday he had his first four-hit day.

That brought an average that had hovered below .200 for most of the season to .241. Oh, and all four hits Sunday were driven to left.

This is, as announcer Steve Lyons pointed out afterward, hopefully a sign the game is slowing down for Sands. It’s not that his previous hits to right were nerve-inducing bloopers -- they weren’t, he was driving the ball -- it’s just that he seemed to have trouble pulling major-league pitching. Which for a young power hitter could become a concern.

Of course, there is also the theory that Sands’ ability to go to all fields happens to coincide with Manager Don Mattingly statement last week that he would now mostly go to a platoon in left, using Jay Gibbons against right-handers.

With bodies in short supply and needing a designated hitter, both started against right-hander Edwin Jackson on Sunday.

Gibbons is looking better too (three hits in his nine at-bats), but if Sands can continue to deliver he figures to get most of the action. He’s the future, which for the Dodgers these days could use some positive vibes.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Jerry Sands hits a double during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Credit: Rob Grabowski / US Presswire

 
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Sands was awesome and he has a lot of speed on the bases, kind of like Kemp; once he gets going, he is pretty fast. I just wish Donnie would recognize this and play him regularly and hit him higher in the order. And Steve, Sands' fourth hit, the double, was to the gap in right. All his singles were to left. Oh, and finally, the Lance Cormier watch continues, and perplexingly, he's still on the roster. Ned!!!!! This team cannot afford to carry a guy like Lance Cormier on its roster.

Read your headline Steve and thought - geez, what the heck?

OK, I'll agree, that is some good news for our team. Hope it continues. We need for it to continue given the upcoming sked from here to the all-star break. (Its not like we're playing the '27 Yankees every game of that stretch, but it's still pretty solid - especially given our 21-27 appearance.)

Beat the Astros.

Yes pulling the ball is more surprising than the 4 for 4. We knew he could hit but to left field? Now we know he can and that's a plus.

It's more than too bad, it's criminal to the future success of the Dodgers, that Donnie B can't apply Sands' success at his 100th AB this season to Ivan de Jesus Jr, being wasted in Albuquerque in this otherwise wasted season, or we might have two legitimate ROY candidates by July or August, and more bright spots---which i'd thought you were going to write was the light at the end of the tunnel that is the End of the McCourt Misrule, coming this week or next. From Frank's pov, he's on tracks he's tied himself to, and the light getting closer is the train.

Note, Xavier Paul reached his 50th AB so far this season, Sunday in Pittsburgh. A huge proven talent, wasted on the bench and lost to the Dodgers, like many in the Colletti-Torre-Mattingly reign.

If you can stick it out with Sands, Donnie, you can stick it out with Ivan. Let Carroll save his old baseball bod by filling in at 3rd, short and on the bench. Bring Ivan back to let him find himself at 2nd.

"Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives."

Good on Jerry for giving us a small positive during the bad soap opera that is the current Dodger organization.

Also, is it me, or does the right-field chain-link and wood fence post at U.S. Cellular Field seem like a dumb and dangerous design for a ballpark?

Perhaps they should bring up Ellis as well. He was doing OK prior to being sent down for Navarro. I would suggest that Ned & Co., start thinking about the future, as nothing will improve until McCourt is gone. Gibbons, Thames, and Gwinn will be gone next year. Add Blake, Furcal, Kuroda, Broxton, and Padilla as well. I would put Loney out there in July as trade bait for an up and coming prospect as he cannot hit for power(or any power over half of the time). Unless the Dodgers get ready to shell out some serious cash, I can see either Kemp or Ethier leaving. I would give Carrol another year as he has more than earned his salary. Garland?
Anyway, have a great day!

Jerry Sands has a bright future and I was concerned when they called him up to the BIGS earlier this year, that he would fall flat on his face. Luckily he's been able to adjust and seems to be finding his stroke ( consistently ) now.

He's our future 1st baseman, unless James starts juicing and finds some pop in that weak bat of his?

Looks like Billy Ashley all over again.

Ned will trade him for some middle relief or an aging utility player before the year is up.

I'll be darned: sunshine, on a cloudy day.

This is a sign of just how bad the Dodgers are right now and how week their farm system is. We are slathering all over a guy that is barely hitting over 200 with 1 dinger. Give me a break.

It's a sad state of affairs in Dodger-land these days.

Come on Bud, pull the trigger and rid us of the McCourts.

Native Angeleno, you are spot on with your comments. ivan deserves his shot. with all these injuries and essentially no shot at winning this year, ivan should get called up and castro sent out to pasture where he belongs. and how many 0-4's will we have to endure before ned admits his colossal mistake in wasting a million dollars on navarro. ugh. ned is killing me.

Sands is much younger than Ashley when he came up. And Ashley struck out more all along the way.

Way to go Jerry Sands!
They are finally giving you a real chance and you are seizing it.

But why is anyone complaining that most of his hits have been to right field? That is the stupidest thing I have read lately except for Camping quotes. Any team, fan base, and reporter should be thrilled with ANY hit, especially on THIS team. And anyone serious about baseball fundamentals knows that coaches want players to wait on the ball to get into the best hitting zone, hit it to the opposite field when it is pitched outside, drive it to the alleys rather than try to hit home runs, and hit it to the right side of the field to best advance runners and make throws longer. And Sands is tied for the team lead with Ethier in doubles, with half the at-bats. His walks to strikeout ratios are pretty good for a rookie...he is patient enough to see some good pitches even though often stuck in bad slots in the batting order. That is pretty darn impressive.

I hope this platoon situation goes away. Let the kid see as many pitches as he can from both righties and lefties. How are platoon players ever supposed to get better at hitting both if not given the chance to bat against both? And I could not agree more with those who say to bite the bullet and get DeJesus in there too. Develop these guys in the majors against the toughest competition so they are experienced veterans next year, rookie jitters behind them, and the team has a chance for quantum improvement.

While I will agree that Navarro and Castro and wasting space, I refuse to weep over losing X Paul to the Pirates. Paul is a defensive outfielder. He can't hit for average, he has zero power, and he can't translate his speed into any kind of baserunning skill -- he doesn't steal bases. In other words, he's an offensive liability. His only talent is as a defensive outfielder -- and as Gwynn, Jr. has proven (who is a much better defensive outfielder), you can't make your way with only defensive skills, no matter how good they are.

The True Blue Dodger Fans that continue to support this team are culpable and deserve as much of the blame (and pain) for this season as the organization itself.

Without them, the McCourts would never have been able to abscond with the assets of this franchise.

No, Ashley was 21 when he was called up. And no, Sands is a much better all-around player than Ashley ever was.


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