Jerry Sands got the game-winning hit for the Dodgers on Monday, but that will be his final hit of spring training, at least on the major league side. As expected, Sands was optioned to minor league camp on Tuesday, leaving 39 players remaining in Dodgers camp.
Sands overhauled his swing in Triple A last season, and showed improvement in his second call up to the Dodgers, hitting .342/.415/.493 in 20 games in September. But he has spent most of the spring trying to regain the mechanics he had at the end of last year, and he has not hit the ball with any authority, and had six hits in 38 at-bats.
"More than anything we have to let Jerry settle down and get his swing back together, let him get to work and get ready to play," manager Don Mattingly said on Tuesday. "We want to get him in a work environment first where he's not trying to compete and show us what he can do. We'd rather see him get to work with his swing, get comfortable, and then compete."
Sands fell behind in the competition for the final bench spot, which Mattingly says will be someone who can hit left-handed pitching, preferably with power. Non-roster invitee Josh Fields seems to be the favorite, but Mattingly insists Justin Sellers and non-roster invitee Luis Cruz are also in the mix as well. But ultimately Sands is the fit for that spot, at least according to Mattingly.
"At the end of the day, if he's the Jerry Sands that we think he is, he's still the best scenario for our club to be the best club we think we can be," Mattingly said.. "We really want that."
Wright Officially Makes Team
The paperwork Ned Colletti told Jamey Wright about on Monday was officially processed on Tuesday, and Wright was officially added to the 40-man roster. To make room, the Dodgers placed Blake Hawksworth on the 60-day disabled list.
This is the seventh consecutive season Wright has made a team as a non-roster invitee.
Hawksworth is recovering from a pair of elbow surgeries in January and is currently not even throwing. Once Hawksworth does resume throwing, he will need "a full spring training" of roughly 45 days per Mattingly to build up his arm strength to be ready to join the team. Hawksworth is out of options.