Veteran Sands helping Flying Squirrels

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — There was a time when Jerry Sands would’ve looked at Double A baseball as a step back. In the late 2000s and the earlier part of this decade, Sands was a hot prospect with the Dodgers. He was eventually traded to the Red Sox in the deal that brought Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzales, and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers.

After that, Sands began quite an odyssey. He bounced between Triple A and the Major Leagues with more teams than he could even count Wednesday afternoon: Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, the Chicago White Sox. Eventually he found himself out of affiliated baseball and playing with the Somerset (NJ) Patriots of the independent Atlantic League.

Sands wants back in the Bigs, though, and so he played his tail off in New Jersey. In late May he got a call from the Giants and earlier this month he joined the Richmond Flying Squirrels. In nine games with Richmond, Sands is hitting .361 with six RBI. The Squirrels have won eight of their last twelve games and climbed out of the Western Division cellar.

Sands wears Chris Shaw’s old #43 and occupies first base, both of which Shaw vacated when he moved up to Triple A Sacramento. Manager Kyle Haines said Wednesday that he’s not looking for Sands to be Shaw’s replacement, but he’s happy with the production and the way the 29-year-old former Major Leaguer can help younger players, especially with hitting.

Sands is happy to have made an impact so far, and he hopes to continue doing so until he gets a shot in the Majors again.