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Justin Sellers appears to have nabbed Dodgers' final roster spot

April 03, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Infielder Justin Sellers appears set to be on the Dodgers' opening day roster.
Infielder Justin Sellers appears set to be on the Dodgers' opening… (Anda Chu / MCT )

The Dodgers are expected to announce their final roster decisions after Tuesday night’s game, and it doesn’t look promising for Josh Fields.

Fields was something of an early-spring sensation, and given that Jerry Sands fizzled and Fields had hit 23 home runs for the Chicago White Sox in 2007, early it appeared the corner infielder had played his way on the team.

But after hitting .435 in his first 23 at-bats, he has batted only .070 in his last 23 at-bats.

And prior to Tuesday’s game, General Manager Ned Colletti said they had made up their minds for the final spot and that needed right-handed power wasn’t going to have a big impact in their decision.

“We’ve pretty much made a decision, for a handful of reasons,” Colletti said. “I think the last guy we’re going to add is not going to have a tremendous amount of power.”

This likely bodes well for infielder Justin Sellers, already on the 40-man roster, and in competition with Fields and Luis Cruz for that final roster spot.

Fields is hitting .293 this spring, with nine RBIs and a .439 slugging percentage. Cruz, a non-roster invitee, is hitting .261 with eight RBIs and a .444 slugging percentage. Fields is hitting .261 with a three RBIs and a .348 slugging mark.

Fields and Cruz would remain under contract if they don’t make the team. This roster business has a way of constantly changing, of course, so it’s not like Tuesday’s decision will necessarily be in place two weeks from now.

Colletti said he still hopes Sands (.158) will develop into that needed right-handed power bat, but for now the Dodgers will start the season decidedly weak on their bench.

“You can certainly have a right-handed power bat off the bench, but do you have the same defensive flexibility?” Colletti said. “The roster can change every day. We’re not going to lose anybody we have under contract.

“I think we’re going to start with some flexibility for Donny, to give him an opportunity to hit guys all over the place who can play in different places,” Colletti said about Manager Don Mattingly.

If it plays out as expected, the Dodgers will be looking at Jerry Hairston Jr., Matt Treanor and Sellers as their right-handed pinch-hitters. And that’s a group with precious little pop.


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