2012 Dodgers in Review #11: SS Justin Sellers

.205/.286/.386 50pa 1hr 0.3 fWAR (inc.)

2012 in brief: Contributed little in sparing early play before back injury ended his season in May.

2013 status: Has a very tenuous hold on a 40-man roster spot and is likely headed back for the minors thanks to injury, poor performance, and roster crunch.

******

See the picture of Justin Sellers in his card over there? He’s on top of the world in that May moment, having just made an absolutely spectacular tumbling catch into the stands behind third base. (Must-watch video of the play can be found here.) Fans are going crazy. The joy in his face is apparent. And Dee Gordon is hidden in the back, trying to figure out if he should just keep on going into the seats.

It was a great moment for Sellers, but unfortunately for him it was the beginning of the end of his season. Sellers injured his back on the play and tried to play through pain for the next week before being placed on the disabled list. He was originally supposed to be out for only a few weeks, but never did make it back and eventually underwent surgery in August, officially ending his year.

Now for a guy who was never really seen as a prospect and had only 50 plate appearances for the Dodgers this year before getting hurt, I feel like we talked & thought about Sellers far more than he ever deserved. I suppose it’s because we were so desperate to improve on Juan Uribe & Adam Kennedy in any way possible, and at one point, things were bad enough that after Mark Ellis was hurt on May 20, I actually had to write this:

With Jerry Hairston sidelined at least through Wednesday, Juan Uribe scheduled to see a wrist specialist with no return date planned, and Dee Gordon benched due to ineffectiveness, the Dodgers now have a 2B/SS/3B rotation of Elian HerreraJustin SellersIvan De Jesus, & Adam Kennedy.

That was the dark time before Hanley Ramirez & Luis Cruz, and it’s just unspeakably awful beyond words. As for Sellers, he beat out Josh Fields & Jerry Sands (or, rather, was the beneficiary of Sands torpedoing his chances with a horrible spring) for the final spot out of camp, and played sparingly until being optioned out when Bobby Abreu arrived in early May. He was only down briefly, because Jerry Hairston injured his hamstring in Chicago soon after, and when he returned he made several starts at shortstop as Gordon struggled terribly.

Of course, Sellers wouldn’t be a 2012 Dodger if he hadn’t been injured himself. So will we ever see him again? If I’m being honest, the answer is, “probably not, and who cares.” The Dodgers already have something like 21 different infielders under contract for 2013, and 40-man spots are at a premium, so it’s hard to think a 27-year-old who has shown no ability to hit in the bigs coming off a major surgery is going to get much of a shot. I am totally okay with that, though I’d certainly like him to remain in the organization as Triple-A depth if it works out that way. We’ll always have that three-run homer you hit in front of the hometown fans last year, though, right?

******

Next up! Luis Cruz, Hall of Famer!

59 comments
LA_Woman
LA_Woman

Dylan Hernandez:

The Dodgers are interested in Japanese free-agent reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, according to people familiar with their thinking.

A right-hander armed with a mid-90s fastball, Fujikawa has been considered the Japanese league's top closer in recent years. The 32-year-old has posted a 1.26 ERA over his last eight seasons with the Hanshin Tigers.

Fujikawa is expected to pitch in the major leagues next season. Because he is a free agent, whatever team that signs him would not have to pay a posting fee to the Tigers.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-1027-dodgers-notes-20121027,0,2269464.story

Paulstralia
Paulstralia

Shouldn't he at least get a Satisfactory grade for those god-awful tattoos? 

efb
efb

Is it possible for Cruz to get a higher grade than AJ? I think he deserves a higher grade... my expectations were 0

DBrim
DBrim moderator

A guy.

HarryDoyle
HarryDoyle

In blogs and in baseball: Sellers is just filler between HRam and Cruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuz.  Can't wait for Cruuuuuzpost, obv!

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

Also from that article:

Dee Gordon is off to a promising start in the Dominican Republic's winter league, offering the Dodgers hope that he might be able to start at shortstop and lead off for them next season.

Gordon was batting .320 and had an on-base percentage of .393 through his first six games with Tigres del Licey. Gordon, 24, hit only .228 for the Dodgers in a season that was shortened by a broken thumb.

If Gordon plays his way into a starting role next season, the Dodgers can move Mark Ellis to the bottom of the order and switch Hanley Ramirez back to third base. The Dodgers aren't completely convinced Luis Cruz can be an everyday third baseman even though he finished the season with a .297 average.

 

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

@efb well, AJ was good for basically the entire year. Cruz was good for about 6-7 weeks.

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

 @LakerDodger24 Okay, you really got me going. I just went to download the Lakers schedule. (I know... 'bout time.) Now if he'll just work on his free throws (damn, that is so aggravating -- what is wrong with these centers?) and controlling his emotions so as not to let opponents get under his skin.

 

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @Mike Petriello  @efb that's like the club as a whole. Good for April and a week or 2 of May, then the last week of the year for a total of 6 or 7 weeks. Not enough to make the playoffs or get an A? I'll stick to letting Mike make that call and then listening carefully to see who calls him a jerk afterwards LOL! 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@el serracho Actually, maybe more of a bro.

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

 @The_Real_Paul  @LakerDodger24 I  know it is harder than it looks. But it is not as hard as shooting while moving. AND THEY ARE FREE POINTS. That should be motivation enough for these guys to get good at it. And don't even get me started about hack-a-shack.

Paulstralia
Paulstralia

 @LA Woman  @LakerDodger24 Shooting free-throws is a lot harder than it looks. We're so used to watching Steve Nash and Kyle Korver make it look completely effortless, but the reality is that it takes years and years of dedication and practice to become a reliable free-throw shooter. Most of the automatic shooters are good at it because they know that it's the only way for them to get to arrive at the professional level. They have no choice but to master their craft. Centers like Shaq and Howard are blessed with being freaks of nature, so it's not quite as essential to their game. I really admire players like Pau Gasol who have taken the time to become great shooters even though they could probably be successful  without it. 

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

 @efb  @capnsparrow we can get into it more on Monday, but it's a misconception to think that Cruz arrived and was outstanding immediately. He was actually pretty crappy for the first month or so (at the plate), and then really turned it on after mid-August.

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

ALL THE ANGLIZATIONS @LakerDodger24 @capnsparrow @LA @VietnamDodger

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

*Joeybats :)@LakerDodger24 @capnsparrow @LA Woman @VietnamDodger

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @LA Woman  @VietnamDodger The big leg kick works for some guys like Juan Bautista in Toronto. However, Have you seen Scott Van Slyke teeter on his back leg trying to figure out when to come forward? 

*VND*
*VND*

stance not leg kick. and i think its all a bunch a crap anyways. its baseball. BASEBALL yo

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @efb  @WBBsAs  @Mike Petriello Anytime a guy comes in and hits 60 points above his lifetime average. I would like to know how this is possible if for no other reason than to see if it can be duplicated by the rest of the club. It could be as simple as some say. That he just started raising his leg to trigger his swing and letting it fly. But if that's the case, why didn't he do that after getting sent down the first time. I would have. Luis Cruuuuz did a great job for us this year and I hope he's found a home in Dodger Stadium. Come a week or so after Valentines Day we will find out one way or the other.

efb
efb

 @WBBsAs  @capnsparrow  @Mike Petriello I'm neither displaying my optimism or skepticism. Just based on expectations and performance, he deserve a very high grade, maybe even higher than AJ. His 6-7 weeks of play were only 6-7 weeks but they were very well played and thus the performance to expectation ratio was very very high. 

efb
efb

 @capnsparrow  @Mike Petriello No it's not. The analogy would work if the season ended early may. For those 6-7 weeks, the only weeks Cruz played, he was consistently very good. 

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@DBrim The Bro who wasnt there. Kinda like HALF THE TEAM O.o

capnsparrow
capnsparrow

 @el serracho  @psychosis  @HarryDoyle Well we know we'll be viewing those 2 yuck feasts, more out of habit than desire. But Mike always manages to throw something in there to make it worthwhile reading. But he's definitely got his work cut out for him in those 2 reviews. 

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

 @psychosis  @HarryDoyle the AK post ought to be interesting. he was not as awful as i expected. this, for example, .262.345.357.702 is not atrocious at all.