LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have had a number of surprise players this year that were called up and found a way to stick with the team.
Jerry Sands was not one of them. While players like Elian Herrera and Luis Cruz earned their way into everyday roles, Sands hit only .200 in eight games with the Dodgers earlier this season before being sent back to Triple-A Albuquerque.
But ever since altering his swing around the All-Star break back to what it used to be a few years ago, the 24-year-old has been on fire, and he earned himself a spot back with the big league club on Monday.
"I'm a little more comfortable at the plate, so it's easier to go up there and know what I'm doing," Sands said. "I wouldn't say a whole lot has changed other than that, just being comfortable and having my old swing."
Sands estimates he has made two or three total swing changes in the last two years, but he's back to how it was before tinkering with it. His hands are now above his shoulders and his feet are wider apart.
Since the All-Star break, Sands led the Pacific Coast League with nine homers, a .733 slugging percentage and 28 RBIs in 23 games. Two of those home runs and eight of those RBIs came in one game on July 29, when Sands became the fifth PCL player to hit two grand slams in a game.
That sort of power earned him a callup and a chance to prove himself with the Dodgers. He started Monday in right field to give Andre Ethier a day off and he figures to mostly back up in the outfield, although he can play first base, too.