Uncomfortable at the plate and struggling with his confidence, Sands said he'd go up to the plate trying to remember everything he needed to do.
Yet, as he got into a routine and put in extra work at Triple-A Albuquerque, things began to turn around.
He'll see if that hard work has paid off, as he got the start in left field for Tuesday's game against the D-backs. Sands was recalled on Monday night to take the spot of Matt Kemp, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
"It is all a process," Sands said. "I feel mentally and physically strong and I'm really seeing the ball well. I've changed my approach and am excited to be back. Hopefully I can make a statement and show that I deserve to be here."
Sands said he's adjusted his swing slightly, holding his hands a little higher and having a slight leg kick.
In his last two games with the Isotopes before the callup, he had six hits, including three home runs and four RBIs.
Sands made his Major League debut in 2011 and hit .253 with four homers and 26 RBIs in 61 games for Los Angeles.
"I feel as comfortable now as I did late last season," Sands said. "I'm not overthinking it and mentally feel better in the box."
He hit .257 and ranked second on Albuquerque with seven home runs while leading the Isotopes in RBIs (28) and runs scored (27).
"Hopefully, Jerry has had some time and is now ready to help up here," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He has been swinging the bat well. The timing is right."