Yikes, Dodgers go young: Call up Dee Gordon, keep Jerry Sands as Jay Gibbons, Juan Castro designated for assignment
Even as the Dodgers activated two players older than 30 Monday, they managed to get younger with a series of stunning moves.
Suddenly, this is not the same Dodgers organization you’ve known the last two seasons. Kids were everywhere.
On Monday the Dodgers elected to keep rookie outfielder Jerry Sands and designate veteran Jay Gibbons for assignment, while calling up shortstop prospect Dee Gordon and also designating veteran infielder Juan Castro.
Busy on the roster front, as expected they also activated infielder Juan Uribe, outfielder Marcus Thames and reliever Blake Hawksworth.
Then they optioned infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr.and right-hander John Ely back to triple-A.
If you were screaming for the Dodgers to go with youth, Monday was your big day.
Gordon has been one of their top prospects for the last couple of years. The rail-thin infielder has zero power but is lightning fast. At triple-A Albuquerque, he was batting .315 with 22 steals in 25 attempts. His glove work, however has been suspect.
Still, the Dodgers did not bring Gordon up to sit him. With Rafael Furcal again on the disabled list, he figures to see his share of starting time at shortstop. Monday against the Phillies, however, they continued to start Jamey Carroll at short and Aaron Miles at second.
Uribe was back in the lineup at second, Thames in left (and batting third) and Sands in right for Andre Ethier against the left-handed Cliff Lee.
The Dodgers had agonized over whether to return Sands to Albuquerque. Sands has not been the sensation some hoped for but has shown promise (.210 average, two homers, 17 RBI, 10 doubles in 119 at-bats) and now figures to get a prolonged chance to stick.
After a comeback year at Albuquerque in 2010, Gibbons, 34, struggled with vision problems this year. He was hitting .255 with one homer and five RBI in 55 at-bats.
Castro, who turns 39 later this month, had two hits in 14 at-bats and was an emergency fill-in. He was reliable with the glove and a classy guy to have in the clubhouse, but this may end his career.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers rookie Jerry Sands in congratulated by third baseman Casey Blake after throwing out a Cubs baserunner earlier this season. Credit: Charles Cherney / Associated Press