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Jerry Sands is playing his way off the Dodgers roster

The young outfielder, who has struggled at the plate this spring, goes hitless in a 3-0 exhibition loss to San Diego.

March 21, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers outfielder Jerry Sands has struggled throughout spring training.
Dodgers outfielder Jerry Sands has struggled throughout spring training. (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

Forgetting that he simply needs to play every day to continue his development, there’s another reason why the Dodgers should not start the season with Jerry Sands on their roster.

He’s just not ready.

Most had Sands penciled in as a reserve outfielder this season with the Dodgers in serious need of a power bat off the bench. Only he’s not hitting this spring and looks uncertain at the plate. Maybe they’ve messed with his swing one time too many.

He went 0-for-2 Wednesday in the Dodgers’ 3-0 loss to the Padres, and is now hitting .154 for the spring.

He has four hits in 26 at-bats, a double his only extra base hit, with eight strikeouts. Even if you came into camp believing he needed to be an extra outfielder, he is playing his way off the team.

Not keeping Sands would likely mean adding an extra infielder, and whether it is Justin Sellers or Josh Fields, that seems a more useful addition. Fields can play the corners and Sellers second, third and short. And Fields is batting .400 this spring, and Sellers .385.

Sands may yet develop as a slugger for the Dodgers, but thus far his power hasn’t translated from the minors; he hit 35 home runs in 502 minor-league at-bats in 2010 when he was their minor league player of the year, and 29 last season in 370 at-bats in hitting-friendly triple-A Albuquerque.

With the Dodgers last season, he hit .252 with four homers in 198 at-bats, though he batted .342 when called up a second time in September. He certainly doesn't have that stroke right now.

None of the Dodgers, however, did much Wednesday against San Diego as four Padres pitchers shut out the Dodgers on five hits. Shortstop Dee Gordon went 2-for-3, accounting for about their lone offensive highlight.

Tim Stauffer went six easy innings for the Padres, holdng the Dodgers scoreless on three hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out two.

The Dodgers exclusively used their bullpen Monday, Todd Coffey surrendering all three runs in his one inning of work on four hits. Jamey Wright opened with two scoreless innings, and Mike MacDougal, Scott Rice, Kenley Jansen, John Grabow, Ronald Belisario and Fernando Nieve each threw one scoreless inning.

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Jerry Sands is playing his way off the Dodgers roster

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