2013 Dodgers review: Justin Sellers


A look back at the 2013 season for the infielder who was the unlikely opening day starter at shortstop for the Dodgers.

Justin Sellers was already optioned to minor league camp in March when Hanley Ramirez dislocated his thumb in the World Baseball Classic. In an unlikely twist, the Dodgers tabbed Sellers to fill in at shortstop with Ramirez out.

"We've always looked at Sells as kind of a safety valve at short, because we knew he'd catch it. Offensively Sells has not shown, at this point, he'll be a great offensive player, but he's still a guy we feel like could handle the bat, but his approach has to stay solid," manager Don Mattingly said on opening day. "We wanted to be able to catch it, and we were willing to sacrifice offense for it."

Here's a look back at the 2013 season for Sellers, which didn't last at the major league level much longer than the season's opening month.

What went right

Filling in while Hanley Ramirez was recovering from thumb surgery, Sellers became the 22nd opening day starting shortstop for the Dodgers in their 56 seasons in Los Angeles.

He had a season-high three hits in a win over the Mets at Citi Field on Apr. 23. Sellers hit a home run off Chris Leroux of the Pirates on Apr. 7, snapping an 0-for-15 skid to start the season.

Sellers started 20 of the first 25 games of the season at shortstop.

What went wrong

Sellers didn't hit much, just .188/.263/.246 in 27 games and 77 plate appearances. In addition to the 0-for-15 slump to start the season, he finished the major league portion of his season on an 0-for-11 run. He didn't start after April 29, and had just one plate appearance for the Dodgers after May 7.

But his calling card is his defense, which made his two errors on April 2 in the second game of the season even more crushing. Sellers did make just one more error the rest of the way, for what it's worth.

2014 status

Sellers, who turns 28 in February, has one year, 89 days of service time, and two option years remaining. The Dodgers seem to like him as a utility man at shortstop, second base and third base, so he could stick for a while as an insurance policy in Triple-A.

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