With the Dodgers struggling at the major league level, having lost five in a row, it's only natural that attention shifts somewhat to see if there is any help, anywhere, any time soon. Vicente Padilla could be in the Dodger bullpen as soon as Friday when the Dodgers begin their road trip in Wrigley Field, but the most attention has been paid to last year's organizational player of the year, Jerry Sands.
After last night's loss to St. Louis, manager Don Mattingly had a long meeting in his office with general manager Ned Colletti and assistant GM DeJon Watson. Mattingly said many things were discussed in that meeting, both pitching and on offense. When asked today if Sands' name came up in that meeting last night, Mattingly replied, ""I heard his name. It's hard not to hear his name right now. It's been hard not to hear his name, for me, since fall ball."
Sands, who has five home runs in his first 10 games at Triple A Albuquerque and is hitting .400/.422/.875, is seen as a potential long-term solution for the Dodgers at either first base or left field. The only question is when. While Mattingly was careful not to get ahead of himself regarding Sands -- "we're talking about a Triple A player here," Mattingly said -- it is clear that Mattingly is fond of the 23-year old prospect.
"To me, he's got a different demeanor than I've seen from most guys. He's a guy who doesn't get bothered, he makes adjustments. His approach is solid," Mattingly said of Sands. "He's one of those guys you feel like if he struggles a little bit, it's not going to change his mind."
- When asked about the two Dodger regulars off to horrific starts -- James Loney (.158/.183/.228) and Juan Uribe (.143/.222/.204) -- Mattingly said, "James concerns me more than Juan. James doesn't seem to be squaring up many balls." Mattingly also noted he is seeing the same problems with Loney that plagued him in the second half of last season. Since the 2010 All-Star break, Loney is hitting .201/.267/.312 with 17 doubles, five home runs, and 31 RBI in 88 games.
Marcus Thames is still battling a sore quad, but is available to pinch hit today if needed. Mattingly said he thought Thames would be ready to start, if needed, as soon as Monday. The Dodgers are facing Tim Hudson, a right-hander, tomorrow night.
Game Time: 1:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket