Jerry Sands got off to a rough start after the Dodgers called him up from Triple-A in mid-April, going 8-for-47 (.190) with 13 strikeouts through 11 games.
They stuck with the 23-year-old top prospect, trusting that he’d eventually get on track and live up to the promise he showed while destroying minor-league pitching, and Sands has responded by going 14-for-50 (.280) with seven extra-base hits and more walks (11) than strikeouts (9) in 19 games so far this month.
That includes his first career grand slam last night, which came just a couple days after his first career homer Sunday, and suddenly his .756 OPS ranks fourth on the team behind Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Casey Blake. James Loney, who Sands figures to eventually replace at first base, has a measly .579 OPS after posting a .723 mark last season.
John Farrell will return to manage the Red Sox next season, provided he is healthy enough to do so, the club announced Sunday morning in a press release.
Torey Lovullo, who has been serving as Boston’s interim manager since Farrell was diagnosed with lymphoma, signed a two-year contract to return as Farrell’s bench coach. Lovullo also forfeited his right to pursue another managerial role with the new deal.
Farrell guided the Red Sox to the World Series title in 2013 and the problems with the Red Sox over the last two seasons have been more about roster construction.
Dave Dombrowski took over the front office from Ben Cherington back in mid-August and will try to turn things around this winter.
All of the other coaches on Farrell’s staff will return except first-base coach Arnie Beyeler.
Stephen Piscotty took the brunt of a frightening outfield collision last week at PNC Park, but he only suffered a mild concussion and was cleared for baseball activities a couple days later.
Now he is back in the Cardinals’ starting lineup, batting second and playing right field Sunday in the first half of a doubleheader against the Braves at Atlanta’s Turner Field.
Piscotty has an impressive .867 OPS with seven home runs and 39 RBI over his first 62 major league games. He should be a big part of the Cardinals’ postseason push, drawing starts in the corner outfield spots and at first base.
St. Louis will get either the Pirates or Cubs in the NLDS.