With baseball rosters expanding September 1st, the Dodgers will call up their prospects with an eye on the future.
Manager Don Mattingly was tight-lipped about which specific players might be summoned from the minor leagues, but seemed excited by the thought of seeing the kids play.
“I love seeing the young guys play,” Mattingly said. “It helps us see where we’ll go and what we think. It helps us put our plan into motion for next year.”
The organization’s reigning Minor League Player of the Year, Jerry Sands will almost certainly be called up, as will Ivan DeJesus Jr., who made his big league debut with the club in April.
Sands hit .200 in 41 games with the Dodgers earlier in the season. Twelve of his 25 hits went for extra bases.
In his 88 games with Triple-A Albuquerque this season, Sands has recorded 28 homers and 85 runs batted in while hitting .285.
The 23-year-old could see time at first base and the outfield.
Mattingly is looking forward to the return of 23-year-old shortstop Dee Gordon, stranded on the disabled list with a bruised right shoulder since August 10. The trade of Rafael Furcal opened the door for Gordon, who figures to battle for a spot in the starting lineup in Spring Training.
According to Mattingly, Gordon will make one more rehab start for the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
“Dee’s going to play 7 innings tonight, take an off day, and be here Thursday,” the skipper offered.
The team has been happy with the play of youngster Justin Sellers who has hit .263 with eight RBI and 14 runs scored in his 16 games with the Dodgers.
Sellers, a middle infielder with a .268 lifetime batting average in the minors, is known more in the organization for his defensive prowess.
Mattingly spoke highly of the 25-year old, saying, “He’s pretty slick with the glove. He’s got good hands and good range.”
Sellers figures to see time at second base when Gordon returns.
With his team well out of contention, Mattingly remains aware that other clubs are in the fight for a post-season berth.
“We’ll still play our (regular) guys, then mix in some of the young guys and see,” he said. “We’ve got to win games out of respect for what’s going on, especially against teams that are right here in the playoff hunt.”
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