Jerry Sands

In need of offense, Dodgers call up top prospect Jerry Sands

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After barely eeking out a 2-1 win over the Cardinals on Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep at home, the Dodgers made a move to address their hitting problems Monday, calling up top prospect Jerry Sands from Triple-A Albuquerque.

Sands, 23, was one of the PCL’s hottest hitters in the early going, having already homered five times.  He was batting .400/.422/.875 with just three strikeouts in 10 games.  He drove in 17 runs all by himself.  The Dodgers, meanwhile, have scored 43 runs in 16 games.

With Sands up, the Dodgers will move away from the Tony Gwynn Jr.-Marcus Thames-Xavier Paul grabbag in left field.  Gwynn had been getting most of the playing time, but he was htiting just .256/.293/.359 in 39 at-bats.  Thames was doing better, but he’s a liability defensively.  Hopefully the club will give him starts at first base against left-handers, as James Loney was awful this spring and is only getting worse.  Paul was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Sands.

Sands will be making his major league debut.  The 2008 25th-round pick opened last year in low-A ball, but he ended up finishing it at Double-A and hitting 35 homers along the way.  He projects as a 25-homer guy for the Dodgers, though he probably won’t hit for strong averages anytime soon.  Regardless, it’s the right move for the Dodgers to give him a try.  No one else was likely to step up and become an everyday guy for them.

Orioles’ Mark Trumbo becomes the first to 40 home runs this season

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a home run during the eighth inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 28, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.

Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.

Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.

Gerrit Cole scratched from Monday’s start

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 07:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates waits out a replay review in the first inning during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on August 7, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Sunday that Pirates starter Gerrit Cole was scratched from Monday’s start against the Cubs. Cole instead has flown to Los Angeles to have his sore right elbow examined by a specialist, Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Cole struggled in Wednesday’s start against the Astros, yielding five runs in five innings. He did not throw his regular between-starts bullpen. An MRI didn’t reveal any ligament damage, but a bone spur remains a possibility.

Cole, 25, has a 3.55 ERA and a 95/32 K/BB ratio in 144 innings over 20 starts this season. The right-hander missed some time earlier this season with a triceps injury.