Rockies @ Dodgers August 8, 2012: Francis vs Billingsley

August 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

Apologies for the relative lack of posts over the last few days, but you can blame real work and life for getting in the way. Well, that and the fact that talking about a club that is getting completely shut down by the woeful Rockies is somewhat less than amusing. What is there to say? Despite the high-profile additions to the club over the last few weeks, what we’ve seen over the last two days brings to mind the bad old days of the “Elian Herrera / Scott Van Slyke / Bobby Abreu” late-June mess.

As you’ll notice, Jerry Sands is once again not in the lineup, and neither is Juan Uribe, who is now celebrating sixteen days since his last start. (It’s fair to ask if this is Uribe’s final game as a Dodger, by the way.) You are upset about Sands, and I would agree, though not quite for the reason you’d think. Despite how red-hot Sands had been over the last few weeks in the minors, it’s important to remember what a mess he’d been for the entire season prior to that, including spring training. He was changing his swing mechanics, he was uncomfortable at the plate… he was awful. I still have high hopes for him and think he’ll be a productive major leaguer, but it’s important not to over-emphasize a hot streak so much as to think he’ll be an instant star. It’s probable, if not even likely, that Sands could be given an opportunity here and fail. Don Mattingly, to be fair, was clear up front that Sands was not simply being handed a starting job.

So it’s not the simple act of Sands not playing that bothers me. It’s this: .257/.306/.396. That’s the slash line of supposed lefty killer Juan Rivera against southpaws this season, and it’s not like he’s adding anything on defense, either. He’s cooked, just like we so obviously knew when he was signed last winter. (I assume I don’t need to look up with James Loney is hitting against lefties.) If you have a better option than Sands at first base right now, then by all means use him and don’t give Sands a second thought. But you don’t – not even close – and sitting him neither helps the team nor helps him continue to get the reps to smooth out his mechanical issues. All of which makes me wonder, why bother going through the effort of cutting Tony Gwynn, then?

Rockies
Dodgers
LF
Young
LF
Victorino
SS
Rutledge
2B
M.Ellis
CF
Fowler
CF
Kemp
C
Rosario
SS
Ramirez
RF
Colvin
RF
Ethier
3B
Pacheco
1B
Rivera
1B
McBride
3B
Hairston
2B
LeMahieu
C
Treanor
P
Francis
P
Billingsley

 

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