August Dodger Pride Award winners announced.

Josh Wall, Jerry Sands, Steven Ames, J.T. Wise, Ryan Acosta, Joc Pederson, Craig Stem, O’Koyea Dickson, Lindsey Caughel, Eric Smith, Jackson Mateo, Paul Hoenecke, Jose Diaz and Luis Alcantara were the minor-leaguers honored with Dodger Pride Awards in August, the team announced today.

The Dodger Pride Awards were created in 2008 by Ned Colletti, and are given on a monthly basis to the players at each level of the club’s minor league system who play the game with a “hustling, smart, aggressive style.” The players and staff on each respective club vote for the awards.

Here’s more on what each played did last month:
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Stan Kasten wants you to know the Dodgers aren’t trying to buy a championship.

Here’s one quote that did not make any of the 10 blog posts or two stories I filed from Dodger Stadium yesterday. It’s from Stan Kasten.

“I want to stress … we continue to believe in the importance of building a foundation through scouting and player development,” Kasten said. “We won’t be what we want to be until we build the system of players.”

“The great advantage of this ownership is, we can do both at the same time.”

Sounds a little utopian, right? Let’s take a look at the hit the Dodgers’ farm system just absorbed.

In acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Carl Crawford, Joe Blanton, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto, Randy Choate and Brandon League,here’s what the Dodgers sacrificed from their system:
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Around the minors: De Jesus, Sands, Gordon, Puig.

Saturday was an interesting day for the Albuquerque Isotopes.

The Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate lost Ivan De Jesus Jr., who had started 49 games at second base, in the blockbuster nine-player trade with the Boston Red Sox. De Jesus is not on the Pawtucket Red Sox’s roster as of yet and there may be room for him in Boston. Could be a good opportunity for De Jesus, the 25-year-old former prospect who batted a respectable .273 in 23 major-league games this season.

Jerry Sands wasn’t packing his bags for Pawtucket, likely because he was claimed on the waiver wire by a rival team and could not be immediately included in the trade. One of two players to be named later (Rubby De La Rosa is the other), Sands hit his 25th home run of the season in the Albuquerque Isotopes’ 4-2 win in Memphis.

“It’s been crazy,” Sands told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “That’s part of the business. It’s exciting that people are interested in me. I’m valuable to some people. I’m here for the time being, so I’m just trying to help this ballclub win some games.”
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Sands optioned; Hawksworth to 60-day DL, Wright added to 40-man.

The Dodgers exercised an option on Jerry Sands today and assigned him to their minor-league camp, reducing the major-league camp roster to 39.

Sands had been hitting .158, his sixth hit in 38 at-bats serving as the game-winning RBI single in yesterday’s 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

“More than anything, we’ve got to let Jerry in our minds, let him settle down and get his swing back together, let him get to work and just get ready to play,” manager Don Mattingly said.

After Monday’s game, Sands admitted he’s been a bit off while trying to make adjustments to his swing during camp. Visibly, his swing didn’t look the same as it did last season with the Dodgers, when he hit .253 (50-for-198) with four home runs and 26 RBIs.

“Small things can throw big things off,” he said. “Going up to the plate worried about things going on with my swing and not worried about picking up pitches – it’s tougher than it looks up there. I’ve just kind of been out of it so far. I’ve got to get back to seeing some pitches.”

Now he’ll get that chance. Mattingly said that Sands is still the team’s “best option” in the long run to come off the bench and spell Andre Ethier or James Loney against left-handed pitchers.

“We just need to simplify things, get him back to work, get him out of the thought of this team right now,” Mattingly said. “Get him back to where he puts himself back together, and have a shot to be able to help us when he comes back.”

With Sands out, several players are still in the running for the final position player spot on opening day. Mattingly specifically mentioned infielders Justin Sellers, Luis Cruz and Josh Fields. Sellers is on the 40-man roster; Cruz and Fields would need to be added.

“We don’t know who it’s going to be,” Mattingly said.

Additionally, the Dodgers placed Blake Hawksworth on the 60-day disabled list, and officially announced the signing of Jamey Wright and added him to the 40-man roster.
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Dodgers 4, White Sox 3.

Jerry Sands‘ walk-off single drove in pinch-runner Elian Herrera in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Dodgers (11-8-4) to the win before 5,816 at Camelback Ranch. [box score]

Sands’ single was just his sixth hit in 38 Cactus League at-bats, and it came at a critical time as the roster is trimmed in advance of opening day.

“I’ve been feeling pretty brutal just trying to work on some things,” Sands said. “Changes here and there, just trying to get comfortable now after making some changes, all kinds of stuff. Just trying to get rhythm and timing after making changes is the hardest thing.

With two strikes against him, Sands lined a single into left field that Kosuke Fukudome could not field cleanly, allowing Herrera to score easily from second base. It was only the sixth hit by the Dodgers all afternoon, as starter Chad Billingsley allowed 11 hits in his 5 2/3 innings of work.

All of those hits were singles, however, and Chicago left nine runners on base. Billingsley also walked two and struck out five.

Dee Gordon stole two bases, giving him a major league-leading 10 this spring. Andre Ethier‘s fifth-inning double was his eighth, tying him for the major league lead with a pair of luminaries, Lorenzo Cain and Matt Carpenter.

A few more notes:

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