Dodgers cut Jerry Sands
PHOENIX -- Jerry Sands was optioned to minor-league camp Tuesday morning, taking him out of contention to win a bench spot on the opening-day roster.
Sands, 24, entered spring training as the favorite to claim the one available reserve role. A former organizational minor league player of the year, Sands hit .253 with four home runs and 26 runs batted in in 61 games last season. He was particularly effective in September, hitting .342 in 20 games.
His September form raised hopes that he could replace Andre Ethier in the outfield or James Loney at first base on days the Dodgers faced a left-handed pitcher. What made Sands particularly attractive was his power potential. He hit 35 home runs between class A and double A in 2010; and he hit 33 home runs between triple A and the majors last season.
But Sands hit his way out of roster consideration by batting .158 in 38 at-bats.
Sands’ demotion came a day after he hit a walk-off single to beat the Cleveland Indians.
“Even with the hit yesterday, he doesn’t feel good, he doesn’t feel right,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “We want to get him in a work environment where he doesn’t have to compete.”
But Mattingly thinks Sands could be part of the team at some point this season.
“At the end of the day, he’s still the best scenario,” Mattingly said.
With Sands out of the mix, the Dodgers will look to Justin Sellers, Josh Fields or Luis Cruz to fill the final bench spot.
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