Now that Jerry Sands is back, it's time to play him every day
The one Dodgers prospect with power who just might be ready to produce for the Dodgers next season, Jerry Sands, has returned.
Anyway, it would be really nice for all concerned –- the team, the bankrupt ownership, the fans and, of course, Sands –- if he did appear ready.
Sands was up earlier this season, and although he certainly didn’t it tear up like some unstoppable phenom, he certainly had his moments.
Not enough of them to stick –- he hit .200, with two homers, 17 RBI and 33 strikeouts in 125 at-bats –- but enough to keep the interest level high.
Back at triple-A Albuquerque, he completed a very productive season, which the high altitude can inflate. Still, he finished there with a team-high 29 homers and 88 RBI in 370 at-bats, with 86 strikeouts. His average, however, was only .278.
He was called up Tuesday along with right-hander John Ely and catcher Tim Federowicz. Of the three, however, Sands is the one who needs to play. Whether in the outfield or at first base, the Dodgers need to give him a long look.
Happily, Manager Don Mattingly told the media in Washington, D.C., he does want to play Sands, even at the expense of sitting Juan Rivera and Andre Ethier. Tony Gwynn Jr. and James Loney also figure to sit more with Sands in the fold.
The Dodgers will go into the offseason the same way they started the season -- still lacking an everyday left fielder. And there is still uncertainty about whether they want Loney back. How Sands performs the final month could seriously affect the direction they go.
So they need to pretty much find a spot in the lineup for him every day. They’re trying to win, sure, but everything now is about the future. And Sands is supposed to be a big part of it.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Jerry Sands. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.