Justin Sellers also known by his nickname of Sellblock could be considered as the forgotten man on the Dodger’s bench totem pole. A glove first infielder, Sellers made his MLB debut for the Dodgers back in 2011. The 27-year-old infielder was originally drafted by the A’s in the sixth round of the 2005 amateur draft. The A”s traded him to the Cubs for Michael Wuertz in 2009. That same year the Dodgers bought him off the Cubs.
At the time Sellers was making his MLB debut in 2011, he was competing for a roster spot with guys such as the hitless wonder Eugenio Velez, Jay Gibbons, failed prospect extraordinaire Jerry Sands, legendary number one bum Juan Castro, and other assorted Bench bums. Dee Gordon was the starting shortstop, and Aaron Miles played in 136 games that season. Talk about a big difference from today’s Dodger roster
It was a different time that’s for sure. Needless to say the Dodgers had many opportunities for Sellers at the time. Sellers played in 36 games in 2011, getting 139 plate appearances. He batted .203 with a paltry .283 OBP, and one home run in 123 at-bats. That season Sellers split time between shortstop, second base, and third base.
The southern California native was given another chance to play in 2012 when he made the opening day roster. Despite being blocked by other bums like Adam Kennedy, and Juan Rivera, somehow Sellers found his way into some games. The 2012 season was shortened for the tattooed infielder when he was injured while diving into the stands for a foul ball. Sellers made a spectacular catch, and ended up on all the highlight reels that season. Unfortunately he paid a price for that by injuring his back. He was not seen again the rest of the season.
That year Sellers played in just 19 games, and batted just .205 in 50 plate appearances. He was 9 for 44 with one home run, and a .672 OPS. 2012 was a bad year for Sellers, which included a reckless driving charge to go along with a torn disc in his back. After bowing out of the 2012 season early because of his back injury, Sellers came back and was healthy and ready to play in 2013.
Last spring, Hanley Ramirez tore his thumb during the World Baseball Classic, pissing off millions of Dodger fans in the process. The Dodgers had limited options at shortstop to open the season. The club had soured on Dee Gordon primarily because of his shoddy defense. So on opening day Sellers was named as the starting shortstop while Hanley recovered from his thumb injury. The experiment was a failure.
Sellers struggled at the plate again. He batted just .188 (13 for 69) with one home run in 77 plate appearances, and 27 games. The Dodgers eventually sent Sellers back down to Albuquerque, and after June he never appeared in another game for the rest of the season.
Sellers should still be a primary candidate to compete for one of the Dodger’s vacant bench spots this spring. He’ll have a lot of competition. Guys like Miguel Rojas seem poised to jump on this opportunity. Plus Ned Colletti seems to be in love with Rojas, which doesn’t bode well for Seller’s chances. The question arises, is Miguel Rojas any better than Justin Sellers? The answer is clearly no. Which segways us into my next post…….
Miguel Rojas vs. Justin Sellers……..?