Justin Sellers was the Dodgers 2013 opening day starting shortstop after Hanley Ramirez suffered an injury in the World Baseball Classic and was forced to start the year on the disabled list. Sellers had been called up in 2011 and 2012, but an injury ended his 2012 campaign earlier than expected. He came into spring training trying to make the team as a backup and ended up beating out Dee Gordon to be the opening day starter.
Regular Season Grade: C
Sellers was praised for his defense; however, in the second game of the season, he had two errors that had Dodger fans squirming. He would quickly recover and have just one more error in his next 25 games. Sellers remained the team’s starting shortstop for the month of April, even though he was hitting just .191 on the season.
Gordon was recalled in early May and on May 8, Sellers was optioned to Triple-A in order to clear a spot for catcher Tim Federowicz. Sellers did well with the Albuquerque Isotopes before being recalled to the Dodgers on June 10. The next day Sellers was optioned back to Triple-A.
With the Topes, Sellers hit .270 with 26 doubles and 65 RBI. He finished the year in Triple-A and wasn’t recalled in September when rosters expanded.
Overall, Sellers was thrust into a starting role and filled in admirably, although he could never find his stroke and was sent down when the Dodgers needed offense.
Playoff Grade: Incomplete
In Triple-A, the Topes failed to make the playoffs and Sellers didn’t make the cut for the Dodgers’ playoff roster.
Overall Grade: C
Sellers caught a huge break heading into the season, but couldn’t take advantage and gave way to Gordon who then gave way to Ramirez. The Dodgers sent him to Triple-A to be an everyday player, rather than become a utility backup in the majors. Sellers should compete for a roster spot next season as a backup, especially if Nick Punto is not re-signed. The 27-year-old can play shortstop, second base and third base and could find a spot as a fill-in utility player.
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