Dodgers Report: Bryan Munoz

Fleeting glory for Jerry Sands

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
6:04
PM PT
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jerry Sands had failed to get a hit in nine consecutive at-bats, striking out in three of them, before he finally yanked a sharp single through the left side of the infield to bring a pinch runner from minor league camp named Elian Herrera all the way home from second in the bottom of the ninth inning of Monday's Cactus League game, giving the Los Angeles Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox before 5,816 at Camelback Ranch.

It was a nice moment for Sands, who has plodded his way this spring to a .158 average and a strikeout every 3.6 plate appearances while driving in just two runs, including this walkoff against former Dodgers left-hander Eric Stults. But the harsh reality is that it probably wasn't enough to save Sands' spot on the Opening Day roster, a spot that seemed all but a cinch at the start of camp.

"It's been a rough camp for Jerry,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "And obviously, Jerry knows it.''

There also were two other factors working against Sands:

-- First, infielder Justin Sellers, who figured to be his only challenger to the final spot on the roster, is hitting .357 with a .455 on-base percentage and is better suited to be a backup shortstop than either of the team's other utility infielders, Adam Kennedy and Jerry Hairston.

-- Second, Andre Ethier -- who drove an opposite-field, RBI double off White Sox left-hander John Danks in the fifth inning and now is hitting .412 for the spring -- finally is showing an ability to hit lefties with authority, possibly negating the need to have a right-handed power hitter like Sands to play in place of Ethier against left-handed pitchers.

So the likely destination for the highly promising Sands, at least to begin the season, is Triple-A Albuquerque, where he will play and get four at-bats every night.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Zack Greinke
WINS ERA SO IP
11 2.90 130 124
OTHER LEADERS
BAY. Puig .308
HRA. Gonzalez 14
RBIA. Gonzalez 62
RD. Gordon 54
OPSY. Puig .915
ERAC. Kershaw 1.92
SOC. Kershaw 134