Jerry Sands Likely Headed to AAA As Roster Games Continue

Look, he can play first! (Brendan-C on flickr)

If this report from Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA is to be believed – and I say that not because I don’t trust Eric, who is wonderful, but just because it strikes me as odd that no other outlets have this news right now – Jerry Sands is going to be sent back to Albuquerque prior to the start of tomorrow’s road trip to make room for Adam Kennedy, who is returning from a short stay on the disabled list thanks to a strained groin.

This is, of course, tremendously disappointing, because it’ll mean that despite all of the furious roster moves we’ve seen over the last few weeks this is a club that will still have Kennedy and Juan Uribe and James Loney and Juan Rivera and Luis Cruz all on the roster at the same time. Beyond that – and I almost feel like I don’t have a whole lot more to offer on it, because I’m just as “WTF” as the rest of you – it would cap off a week of absolutely bizarre roster machinations.

On Monday, Tony Gwynn was DFA’d to bring up Sands. (Gwynn, it should be noted, will accept his trip to Albuquerque, as Stephen reports.) Sands started that night in right field against Drew Pomeranz, went 0-3 before being double-switched out in the seventh, and was never seen again for the rest of the series. So this was worth interrupting Sands’ hot streak and DFA’ing Gwynn… how, exactly?

The funny thing is, I didn’t even mind letting Gwynn go. I mentioned it even back on July 31, when we were trying to figure out who would get cut for Shane Victorino, that Gwynn no longer had a role on this team. Sure, he’s a plus defensive outfielder, but he is not a major league quality hitter, and “backup outfielder on a team with three set starting outfielders” isn’t a very large piece of the puzzle.

All I can think of is that they were planning to cut Gwynn all along – which, again, fine – and rather than wait until Kennedy returned to do it, they figured they might as well get the benefit of Sands for a few days first. That’s defensible logic in theory. Or at least it would have been, if Sands had been actually been allowed to play, particularly when the Rockies started lefty Jeff Francis last night. Juan Rivera went 0-4, now has one hit in his last 18 at-bats, and is not the solution to this or any other problem; it’s worth noting that his seasonal line now sits at .246/.282/.351, or worse than the .243/.305/.360 that got him DFA’d by Toronto last year.

Now, I’ll admit that if Sands isn’t going to play, I’d much rather him getting regular time in Albuquerque than riding the bench in Los Angeles. But what concerns me is that it’s hard not to look at this situation and not see signs of a larger problem. Ned Colletti refuses to free us of the scourge of Juan Uribe, and Don Mattingly responds by absolutely refusing to play him, with just one appearance as a defensive replacement in more than two weeks – and Mattingly is absolutely right to do so, even if it means playing the quickly-descending Cruz. Colletti cuts a popular if flawed player in Gwynn in order to get a potentially powerful bat in Sands up for a series with two lefty pitchers, and Mattingly barely plays him either, refusing to give up on the execrable Rivera. Are there signs that the front office and bench aren’t totally on the same page? I can’t say that I have any hard evidence to point to, but something smells weird here.

Perhaps worst of all, we’re talking about all of this rosterbation without confronting the main issue head-on, which is that Adam Kennedy is somehow a player who absolutely must be on the roster when he’s healthy, as though there’s no other possibility here. (I don’t want to hear about his “hot July”, as though 40 pre-injury plate appearances somehow carry more weight than months and years of ineptitude beforehand.) So now you’ve got two completely useless sides of a first base platoon, three backup infielders who range from “can’t hit” to “really can’t hit” to “will never get a chance to play again”, and I have absolutely no idea what to make of it all.

I am hopeful, at least, that seeing Gwynn & Bobby Abreu culled is the beginning of the new regime cutting bait on the bottom part of the roster. I suppose we can argue about what order these guys should have gone in, but if anything, it makes me realize how much more work remains. This roster is soft, and confusing roster choices and inexplicable dedication to far-over-the-hill veterans isn’t helping.

326 comments
Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

On Loney, @CarlECreasman, I don't disagree that he used to be valuable, but I'm not sure how you can be so 100% certain that his struggles have been because the team forced him to try to him more homers. I don't know that we have any evidence of that, and while we can argue about how much he really provided to the team before, I don't think there's any argument that he's garbage now.

Kewldood69
Kewldood69

Basketball blows. It's too self-centered and egotistic. It's not a team sport and they flop worse than soccer. Bring baseball back to the Olympics and get rid of basketball. Just my 2 cents ;)

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

The site suddenly became Dwight Howard's Tragic Illness

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

So i was away from sports on the internet all day... watching my little son... watching MLB network... On the way home hearing again another Dwight Howard rumor and me not liking the fact that we would give up Bynum and Pau.... all day away from the internet.... too a fatty ass nap.... now my little boy is asleep and i go to the web.... DWIGHT HOWARD IS A LAKER??????? AND WE DIDNT GIVE UP PAU???????????????? OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! expecting little news that i would care about with the Dodgers off day and this BOMB is dropped like a game winning walk off Kemp HR... im excited like a little kid.... Lakers just became the favorite to win it all this year hands down....

Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)
Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)

Hey, want to know how really screwed up the Dodgers front office/management has been? Take a look at this quote from Mattingly.

 

"Obviously Jerry was doing some things at Triple A and he's up right now so he has a chance to become a part of that mix [first base]"

 

That quote is from the pre-game notes from YESTERDAY at TBLA.

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

My avatar is having a little bit of a down night.  1-3 with a triple, 2 runs and 2 RBI's.  He'll do better tomorrow.

CarlECreasman
CarlECreasman

DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy said  @CarlECreasman Loney has been trending downward for years now, it's no surprise.

 

This not correct.  If you look at Loney's stat line, his stats are quitegood in 2008, 9, & 10.  They started down last year and have continued this year.  This is in line with the push for him to hit more home runs resulting with him screwing up his swing and his production dropping.  It is not likely to happen in LA but I am confident that if he were placed in the lineup and encouraged to quit worrying about HRs his production would return to the levels seen in 08 - 10.  Look for this to happen next year with another team.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @Cadtalfryn Can we get a troll who has more than one trick up his or her sleeve? I don't think these even HAVE sleeves. 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

 @Mike Petriello  @CarlECreasman It's hard to overstate that he compares poorly to other first basemen, and has since 2008 (first year that he qualified for batting title).  Even if that's not important to some people, you still need to make up for being behind the league average in one place by being ahead in another.

 

Here's 1B qualified for the batting title, sorted by WAR (which theoretically factors in defense, which is considered to be one of Loney's strong suits), for the last few years:

2008: http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2008&month=0&season1=2008&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

2009: http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2009&month=0&season1=2009&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

2010: http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2010&month=0&season1=2010&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

2011: http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

(Not qualified this year).

 

The one thing in common?  He's generally the bottom on teams that are hoping to contend, give or take a few spots.  Even if you don't use WAR, it's not good.

MSTIer: Jake
MSTIer: Jake

 @Kewldood69 baseball sucks in the olympics though, world baseball classic is enough and that blows too, basketball is great because los angeles dominates no matter what.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Which is really indecisiveness 

MSTIer: Jake
MSTIer: Jake

 @Gilbert_Venge haha man i was just like that, i was so pissed when they said the deal included pau, but it doesnt so HALLELUJAH!!

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

@Deuce Only 1.500 OPS today, which ironically is the same as his season total! What a bum

Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)
Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)

 @CarlECreasman  @CarlECreasman Hmm, I contest that he's been good those years. With advanced metrics I don't even need to make the case. His one good year was 2007, and I can show it even with traditional stats. His highest batting average was .289. His homerun high was 13 which is okay if you can get on base a ton but his highest OBP was .357 and below that just .339. He's not a basestealer either. So you have a light hitting, slick fielding, no power first basemen. He's a one-dimensional player, and that one-dimension doesn't make up for his horrid bat. His one good year was 2007, and now it all seems like it was just a tease. 

MSTIer: Jake
MSTIer: Jake

 @CarlECreasman  @CarlECreasman loney was average, below average first baseman in those years, now he is a really really below average first baseman. so he went from below average 1b to horrible

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @CarlECreasman  I am actually surprised someone else brought this up. This has been on my mind for a very long time. He was productive until the team got into a "but he's a 1st basemen" mentality. And now he's a headcase. I hope he destroys the baseball somewhere else with the rest of his career. Because he's a funny. nice guy. 

 

One of many reasons Donnie continues his decent into my house of horrors... 

Frank J Lapidus
Frank J Lapidus

@JakeHorvitz @Gilbert_Venge Its a good deal but I hope we didnt give up Bynum for a Howard rental

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

 @JakeHorvitz Lost in the shuffle was the 76'ers.... Huge winners in this deal.... they essentially give Andre Iguodala for Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson...

Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)
Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)

 @VietnamDodger As you should be. This whole deal reeks of ineptitude. And this isn't even a sabermetrics vs. traditional issue as it seems to always be. This is get your act together and have a plan. Don't mess with a young player's head. If you want him up then have him up and playing. If not then keep him down. What a disaster.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @JakeHorvitz  @Deuce it's obvious that he's not hitting homer runs because management is pressuring him to hit home runs. common sense dictates it to be so. 

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @phattonez7  but youre missing the point, 2007 and beyond should be UPWARD years, given his age and skill. NOT downward. Whatever. I dont need advanced metrics. you still think Harang is the worst pitcher in the league. 

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @JakeHorvitz  but when you talk about PROSPECTS, and DEVELOPING THEM. they dont tend to get WORSE. However, Loney DID. Why?

we all know he tinkers with his swing, a lot.

why?

put it together.

 

The Dodgers may have fucked up a great prospect.

CarlECreasman
CarlECreasman

 @VietnamDodger This is what I have been saying all year.  It does not take a rocket scientist to see this trend just by looking at his year by year stats: 

2007 - he had 67 RBI and 15 HR with a line of 331/381/538 in 97 games and 344 AB

2008 - he had 90 RBI and 13 HR with a line of 289/338/434 in 161 games and 595 AB

2009 - he had 90 RBI and 13 HR with a line of 281/357/399 in 158 games and 576 AB

Then in 10, the push on HR started

2010 - he had 88 RBI with 10 HR and a line of 267/329/395 in 161 games and 588 AB

2011 - he had 65 RBI with 12 HR and a line of 288/339/416 in 158 games and 531 AB

 

And of course his stats this year are much worse because he is being jerked in and out.  I realize that I am in the minority regarding Home Run production requirements for a First Baseman but I still say that the bottom line is getting runs across the plate (Yes, I have heard all of the garbage about RBI being dependent on who is on base ahead of you,) and Loney did a very good job those first 3 years.  Instead of ruining a very good first baseman, why not leave him alone and try to get the HR numbers from another location? 

 

I look for another team to be smart enough to do this next year and I, for onr, hope he has not gone too far in screwing up his swing.

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @VietnamDodger  @CarlECreasman   If by productive you mean 90 RBI's in nearly 700 PA and about a .400 SLG, OK.  His best year was actually 2007, when he did have real power.  The position you play does have implications for your expected production.  That's why A-Rod as a SS, Piazza as a C, or Kemp as a CF are so valuable.  They provide mucho offense at a position where most teams don't get it.  The easiest position in baseball to fine offense is 1B, that's why when James hits like a middle infielder it really hurts the Dodgers.  

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

 @el serracho  @JohnM I hate, despise, loathe, disdain football. I like basketball okay (and loved it when Chick Hearn was alive to entertain us), and it serves to get me through the long, cold baseball-less winter. I'm indifferent to all other sports.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @JohnM  @LA Woman ok, while we're doing this thing. i hate basketball, football, soccer, and hockey. ..well, ok i "hate" may not be the right word. i have zero regard for those sports. if they ceased to exist the world would be just fine. 

 

i only watch baseball and cycling which makes for a long, cold, no sports watching, winter. 

MSTIer: Jake
MSTIer: Jake

 @Gilbert_Venge ya but its not like they will be competing with miami still they get better but its not fun to play in thee east

Kewldood69
Kewldood69

 @VietnamDodger For the 148th time. Mattingly is a good player manager and a shitty manager manager.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @phattonez7 I need to sleep!!!! I go night night now. Harang is a good pitcher!

 

:P

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @Deuce  I'm just tired and its my bedtime :( I dont agree with you guys, I think that our scouting and development is so bad yet will never get any blame for anything. But thats me. This is my reality. The Dodgers makes me haz a sad. Goodnight Deuce. Fight the good fight. 

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @phattonez7 meh. Colletti gets a pass because of his mustache. Just saying that our organization cannot evaluate talent. 

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @phattonez7 Colletti is no fool. 

 

But that development team we have? They are fools. 

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @phattonez7 I want to say that something went terribly wrong with our development team. I have seen too many great Dodgers go on to develop great careers elsewhere when our minor league system couldnt figure it out. 

Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)
Tony Fernandez (MSTY Most Informative Poster)

 @VietnamDodger It should be upwards, but it's not always that way. What we see in the stats is for players that stick around in the league. If you're a young player and not improving, you generally drop out of baseball. It's sad to see but it's just the way it happens sometimes. At this point, I don't see Loney turning it around. He's 28. Players don't suddenly become much greater than they were before past age 27. 

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @Deuce i doubt it because they low balled on so many players, there is no way our development team foresaw what was going to happen with these players. 

 

Our development is a joke. 

 

And loney is the poor guy who had to stick with our organization. 

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @phattonez7  Who is he basing the decision off of? Did you not read his quote when he said that his SCOUTS told him that Hanley still had a lot to offer? he cant be everywhere every day. HE RELIES ON PEOPLE. 

 

It's our scouts. our developmental team. Not our GM. Our GM runs numbers and matchups. But the final word on someone's value doesnt come from Ned. It comes from his scouts. 

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @VietnamDodger   But Colletti doesn't have to listen to them.  Scouts and farm directors are usually going to defend their own guys.  I seriously doubt if Logan White was A-OK with some of the trades Ned has made.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @Deuce  but they were priced soooo loooooooow. seriously? JMac for a middle reliever? Santana for a anging 3rd basemen? Colletti isnt the scouting director, he's the GM. He goes off of what his scouts tell him. what his coaches tell him. Our minor league system and professional coaches dont know how to develop. They cant see where the power is in each of these players. 

 

Other teams find it, however. 

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @VietnamDodger  @phattonez7   Beltre was a beast but priced himself out of L.A.  Victorino-we already had 5 CF's.  Konerko traded for Jeff Shaw, we had to have a proven closer (man, I hate that term).

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @phattonez7  and they dont pan out because people dont recognize where the power may be. Great teams and development recognize where potential is. I want to say that during that era, our developmental squad was terrible. Adrian Beltre. Victorino. Worth. Konerko. I want to go on but i wont. 

 

But that era of development, luckily, is behind us. At least i hope

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @VietnamDodger  @JakeHorvitz   Maybe, but other factors could have applied.  PED's, confidence, pitchers adjusted to him.  Don't know, but 2007 James would turn on inside fastball and do damage.  You don't see that anymore.  The bat is slow.

johnclevenger
johnclevenger

 @CarlECreasman  @VietnamDodger This isn't evidence for your theory. He had essentially the same year in '10 that he had in '09, _after_ the supposed HR push started. Thus, the HR push didn't seem to affect his performance in '10. How do you explain that?

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

 @CarlECreasman I believe in situational hitting. Whenever anyone says RBI's dont count has never really played baseball, but they wish they did. RBI's arent just something that happen, but we'll leave that for another day. And I really dont agree with Don Mattingly's jerk around managerial style paired with Ned's strange preoccupations. There is something strange going on and it's not healthy to develop confidence. 

johnclevenger
johnclevenger

 @CarlECreasman Loney ranks 15th in RBIs by 1B since 2008. Not a stellar result. He also ranks something like 43rd in wOBA during the same time. Given that he averaged about 650 plate appearances during his "good" stretch and led the league (or was close to leading the league) in total number of runners on base while batting during this time it's not surprising the counting stat (RBI) is inflated compared to the skill stat (wOBA). 

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @CarlECreasman  @VietnamDodger   RBI's are a context dependent stat, in otherwords, a function of how many opportunities the player gets to drive in runs.  In the years you cite, James had many PA's batting in the middle of a good order.  In that context, 90 RBI's is not any outstanding total.  And that has nothing whatsoever to do with how much baseball I played, which was quite a bit.  I read an article yesterday claiming the Miguel Cabrera should be the AL MVP over Mike Trout because he has more RBI.  Well, since he hits 4th and Trout leadoff (and Trout didn't play the first month of the season) shouldn't he have more?  To more accurately measure a players value, stats that are not dependent on the his teammates and where he hits in the order need to be evaluated.  Your last sentence is true, however the James Loney I see now is not the same player I saw in 2006-2010.  To assume that he would drive in 90 runs if just left alone and playing every day is a stretch.  He rarely hits the ball hard and looks completely lost at the plate.

CarlECreasman
CarlECreasman

 @Deuce  @VietnamDodger perhaps the fact that you do not realize that 650 is a significant distance from 700 PA would explain why you do not value 90 RBI.  Loney's highest number of PAs is 656 which by my math is 45 plate appearances from 700.  Obviously you and I do not agree on the value of the HR but yes, I do call 90 RBI good production and anyone who doesn't think so has obviously not played much baseball.  If Home runs were so significant you would expect the guys who are hitting 30 to 50 home runs to also have, at a minimum, 20 to 40 more rbi than Loney and his 12 HR but that just is not so.

So, thank you I will take Loney and his 90 RBI over the other options currently available.