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Around and around they go, until the left-field start lands back on Jay Gibbons

Dodgers2_300 And Monday’s starting left fielder is -- Jay Gibbons, who after all, was supposed to be the main guy out there back when the Dodgers were in their off-season war room. Those must have been some exciting times.

"We’ll see what he looks like," said Manager Don Mattingly.

Assuming, of course, he can see.

The original master plan was for Gibbons to start against right-handers, and for Marcus Thames to start against lefties.

Trouble was, an off-season eye procedure that was supposed to help Gibbons with his vision made it worse, and he spent the bulk of two months trying to figure out which contact lenses would work and fit.

That messed up Gibbons’ spring and he started his season on the disabled list. Meanwhile, Thames went on the DL and Tony Gwynn Jr. saw some playing time.

Hurting even more in left than they anticipated -- and they should have anticipated plenty -- they got desperate and called up highly regarded prospect Jerry Sands a year earlier than they wanted.

Sands hasn’t looked awful, but hasn’t exactly seized the opportunity (.194, no homers, 9 RBI in 72 at-bats).

Which on Monday brought the Dodgers back to where they were supposed to start, Gibbons.

"I’m trying to find some production out there," Mattingly said.

While playing sparingly, Gibbons has struggled just like all the rest of the left-field candidates (.083). Monday marked only his third start since being activated May 3.

"I worked hard to gt back and felt like I could do the job," Gibbons said. "Not it’s just a matter of going out and doing it. We’ll see what happens."

There’s that seeing thing again, which Gibbons believes is now behind him. Not that he’s had enough major-league at-bats (12) to be sure. Just Sunday, Mattingly said he wasn’t "100% satisfied he’s really seeing the ball good."

On Monday, however, Gibbons was his starter. Just the way it was originally planned.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers left fielder Jay Gibbons returns to the dugout after striking out against Brewers starter Shaun Marcum with two men on in the seventh inning Monday night at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

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at least there's more guys in the lineup who might, repeat might, hit one out over the outfield fence.

Rotating everybody every few days until somebody clicks could be the answer.
Ya never know.

okay, i really have to question navarro to pinch-hit in that spot. he's had 17 at bats all year and is our only back-up catcher. there isn't much on the bench but i'd have used gwynn or sands before i used navarro. gwynn came in for gibbons in the next inning anyway. sands has shown patience at the plate.

Likely Gibbons will be released after tonight's game.

Such a boring team.

"I’m trying to find some production out there," Mattingly said.
Too bad Ned didn't have that same revelation, say 5-6 months ago.

Yes, and barring financial issues, this would still be the same team, Frank? Really? Let's put a Thames/Gibbons platoon in left, when we could at least have had Josh Willingham or some other left fielder who is at least mediocre?

In the 25 years I have devoted to this team, I have never seen such a pathetic bunch.

This can't possible be considered a majore league team.

Once you get past Ethier and Kemp there is nothing in this lineup that gives a fan any confidence.

What has happened to our Dodgers?

It is so sad and frustrating. It's like watching your dog you've loved for 14 years die a slow miserable death and there is absolutley nothing you can do about it.

Thanks Frank. You bum!

"I'm not worried. No, not at all actually. It just doesn't matter."

I like this move. This is gonna work. It just feels right. I mean, it can't be any worse, right? We've got a collective batting average out of left field of what? .190? And no home runs? So Gibbons can't be any worse than that. No pressure, dude, none at all. If he hits .220 and accidentally hits a dinger now and then, it's an upgrade and kudos to Donnie! And if it doesn't work, it's still the problem with his eyes -- not his fault. Yessir, I like it.

Sands could be the solution if put into a good situation to succeed. But they need to try harder to make him successful. If you take out some o-fer games where he came in as a pinch hitter or batted 8th in the lineup his average and on-base% go up at least 30 points if not more and his runs and rbi are more impressive. Try to put him in a slot to allow him to see more good pitches, see more runners on base, and have better threats behind him plus see the starter multiple times by only starting himself. Pinch hitting and batting 8th in front of the pitcher are rough situations for any batter. Almost all guys with 80+ RBI bat in the 3-6 slots. Even as it is now his 9 RBI in 72 at bats project to 72 in 576 at bats. There were only 3 Dodgers with over 64 RBI last year (Ethier, Kemp, and Loney). If he started every day, instead of just some times, in the 5th or 6th slots where he belongs he would have a much better chance of good stats, and developing into a disciplined hitter. When he had most success in the minors he surely was batting somewhere between 3rd and 6th slots. And free swingers like Uribe and Barajas belong in 7th and 8th slots anyway since they swing from the heels at any pitches yet still connect at times. Batting in those slots likely does not affect their approaches much.

I expect that if Sands started every day in the 5th or 6th slot and got 521 at bats he would have at least a .248 batting average and .310 OBP with 85 RBI and 64 runs scored which is what Uribe did last year in a career year (most often batting 5th). And for the Dodgers last year Casey Blake, in 509 at bats hit .248 with .320 OBP with 64 RBI and 56 runs scored. Whenever Sands comes up to the plate I pay attention and have hope. Put him in the best situation to be successful, and there is a very good chance that he will be. Regardless it would be better than the way things are now (and our regular starters in the 5th and 6th are hitting .203 and .230).

I miss Juan Pierre!!!

I'm so full of it - at least you can euthanize the dog.


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