Jay Gibbons, who has battle vision problems dating back to last year, was activated off the disabled list today, after a lengthy rehab assignment with Triple A Albuquerque. To make room for Gibbons, the Dodgers placed Marcus Thames on the disabled list with a strained right quad. Thames, who is hitless in his last 11 at-bats, is hitting .176/.222/.412 this season.
If the team remains committed to Jerry Sands, who has started 11 of 14 games since his promotion on April 18, then the net effect of this move essentially changes the dynamic of the bench, replacing the right-handed Thames with the left-handed Gibbons. However, it also might affect the plan to sit James Loney against "tough lefties," unless Russ Mitchell assumes that role with Sands remaining in left field.
Gibbons, who came off the scrap heap last season to hit .280/.313/.507 with five home runs in 80 plate appearances for the Dodgers, struggled mightily during spring training and had to get new contact lenses as he couldn't properly see pitches. He saw a vision specialist in San Francisco during spring training, and another one in Kansas City a few weeks ago, hit .288/.413/.385 in 14 games with Triple A Albquerque during his rehab assignment.