Full Name: Gerald Robert Sands
Born: September 28th, 1987
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 225 lb.
Jerry Sands was drafted in the 25th round of the 2008 Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He made his major league debut on April 18, 2011 against the Atlanta Braves. Sands went 1 for 3 with an RBI that night, with his first big league hit coming as a double against three-time All-Star Tim Hudson. He was dealt to Boston along with Rubby De La Rosa, James Loney, new Bucco Ivan De Jesus, and Allen Webster as part of the mega-deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto to LA. Now he joins the Pirates as a main piece of the trade that shipped All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan up to Boston. Sands is under team control through the 2018 season.
Scouting report via Sox Prospects:
Versatile bench player capable of playing corner outfield positions and first base. Can play center field in a pinch. Fringe-average hit tool. Swing is on the long side and can trigger on slowly. Tends to swing and miss too much. Creates leverage with hips. Solid-average power potential. Struggles with advanced off-speed stuff. Leads to being prone to striking out. Below-average speed. Average defender at first base and in left field. Doesn’t have the range to play center field or right field in more than an emergency. Average arm. Projects as bench player at the major league level, capable of filling in during stretches.
Scouting video via Project Prospect:
Sands extending his hitting streak to 21 games in August of 2012:
This streak, coming as a member of the Class AAA Albuquerque Isotopes, ended at 21 games. He hit .296 with 26 home runs for the Isotopes last season.
YouTube legend Dodgerfilms catching one of Sands’ batting practice homers:
According to the depth chart on pirates.com, Sands fits into the club as the third-string right fielder. His addition further clogged the logjam of corner outfielders and first basemen the Pirates have, which could signal another trade in the works. He still has one option remaining according to Pirates Prospects, so he could see some time at Triple-A Indianapolis. Travis Snider and Jose Tabata, the two players Sands will likely be competing with, do not have any options left, which potentially gives them an edge in terms of making the big league club. A Sands-Snider platoon is definitely a possibility.
Tonight we asked…
#FTFTrivia Which 4 Pirates closers recorded more than 100 saves in their career with the Bucs?—
Forbes to Federal (@ForbesToFederal) December 27, 2012
…and the answers to tonight’s #FTFTrivia are…
Roy Face – 188 saves
Kent Tekulve – 158 saves
Mike Williams – 140 saves
Dave Giusti – 133 saves
Elroy Face racked up all of those saves while pitching a ton of innings. He wasn’t a conventional one-inning pitcher like we see today, so he pitched multiple innings in most of his appearances. He even won 18 games out of the pen in 1958 – still a record to this day. Face also saved three of the four Pirate wins in the 1960 World Series, but we all know why he didn’t get the save in that fourth one.
Kent Tekulve was the closer for the Bucs from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, and put up similar numbers to Face. He matched Face’s three saves in a World Series, and got the save in the series-clinching Game 7. Teke threw 1434.2 innings in his career. They all came out of the bullpen, so he owns the record for most innings pitched without ever making a start.
What’s most impressive about Mike Williams’ save number is that he racked them all up while playing on some really bad 90+ loss teams. He even saved 46 of the Pirates’ 72 wins in 2002.
Dave Giusti was converted to a reliever when he came to Pittsburgh, and was a key part of the team’s success in the early 1970s. Using the palmball, Giusti led the NL with 30 saves in 1971 and saved Game 4 in the World Series. From 1970-73, Giusti saved at least 20 games in each season, which helped bring his total up above 100.
Joel Hanrahan easily would have reached the century mark some time in 2013, but was traded this week and ended his Bucco career with 82 saves. Stan Belinda, Matt Capps, and Jose Mesa are the only other pitchers with more than 60 saves as a Pirate, with 61, 67, and 70 respectively.
Congrats to tonight’s winners: @_DrewBrown, @Zach_Morrison1, @ZacharyMWeiss, @fdawg30, and @johnlucas18.
Thanks to all who participated, and tune in next time for another edition of #FTFTrivia.
Go Bucs, 94 days until Opening Day
The Pirates clubbed 170 home runs as a team last season, which was the fourth-highest total in the National League. Their 170 bombs was a big increase from a total of 107 in 2011, when they finished 27th out of 30 MLB teams in the HR department. Here’s a look at the five longest Bucco homers of the 2012 season, via ESPN Home Run Tracker:
5. Andrew McCutchen – July 17th, 2012
Opposing Pitcher: Christian Friedrich
Stadium: Coors Field
True Distance: 448 feet
4. Pedro Alvarez – September 16th, 2012
Opposing Pitcher: Jeff Beliveau
Stadium: Wrigley Field
True Distance: 449 feet
3. Garrett Jones – June 2nd, 2012
Opposing Pitcher: Shaun Marcum
Stadium: Miller Park
True Distance: 451 feet
2. Garrett Jones – July 29th, 2012
Opposing Pitcher: Lucas Harrell
Stadium: Minute Maid Park
True Distance: 455 feet
1. Pedro Alvarez – August 28th, 2012
Opposing Pitcher: Brandon Dickson
Stadium: PNC Park
True Distance: 456 feet
– Ali Solis (claimed off waivers)
– Felix Pie (signed as free agent)
– Zach Stewart (acquired via trade from BOS)
– Clint Robinson (acquired via trade from KC)
– Vin Mazzaro (acquired via trade from KC)
– Russell Martin (signed as free agent)
– Jason Grilli (re-signed)
– Mike Zagurski (signed as free agent)
– Andrew Oliver (acquired via trade from DET)
– Ivan De Jesus (acquired via trade from BOS)
– Stolmy Pimentel (acquired via trade from BOS)
– Mark Melancon (acquired via trade from BOS)
– Jerry Sands (acquired via trade from BOS)
– Francisco Liriano (signed as free agent)
– Jeff Clement (DFA; signed by Twins)
– Eric Fryer (DFA; signed by Twins)
– Daniel McCutchen (signed by Orioles)
– Hisanori Takahashi (released)
– Kevin Correia (signed by Twins)
– Chad Qualls (elected free agency)
– Rod Barajas (elected free agency)
– Chris Resop (traded to OAK)
– Yamaico Navarro (traded to BAL)
– Brock Holt (traded to BOS)
– Joel Hanrahan (traded to BOS)
*Moves that could potentially impact MLB roster. All transactions can be viewed HERE.
In your opinion, have the Pirates improved this offseason? Please cast your vote, and feel free to let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or on Twitter.