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Justin Sellers

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Justin Ryan Sellers

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The son of big leaguer Jeff Sellers, infielder Justin Sellers was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the sixth round of the 2005 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Randy Johnson and made his pro debut that summer.

In early 2009, Sellers was traded to the Chicago Cubs, and his contract was in turn sold to the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the season. He made his big league debut with the Dodgers on August 12th, 2011, going hitless in 3 plate appearances against the Houston Astros, then got his first major league hit and scored his first run the next day, and hit his first major league homer and drove in his first 3 runs on the 14th, all against Houston. He concluded the season with a .203 batting average in 36 games, with 9 doubles and a homer.

Sellers was injured most of 2012, only playing 5 games in the minors and another 19 with the Dodgers, where he hit .205 with a homer and 2 RBI. His last game was on May 22nd, after which he needed surgery on a disk in his back, one of a string of major injuries that affected the Dodgers that year. He was again a utility infielder, seeing playing time at second base, third base and shortstop.

On January 18, 2013, Sellers was arrested by police in West Sacramento, CA after numerous residents complained about a person driving an off-road motorcycle recklessly in a residential area. As the residents had seen the scofflaw escape into a nearby wooded area, police surrounded the woods and nabbed Sellers as he was driving out.

Sellers got a chance to play regularly early in the 2013 season, as projected SS Hanley Ramirez started the year on the disabled list with a thumb injury. He thus played 21 games in April, 20 of them as the starter at short, but hit only .203 with 1 homer and 2 RBI in 64 at-bats. Ramirez came back in the last days of April, but immediately suffered another injury on May 3rd, this time a pulled hamstring, leaving the Dodgers in a dilemma: continue with Sellers, who had hit around .200 in all three of his major league stints this far, calling back Dee Gordon, whom they wanted to play regularly at AAA to address some significant holes in his game, or hope to find another replacement on a thin trade market. In the end, they went with Gordon; Sellers played only 5 games in may, the last on May 7th, going 0 for 5. he was sent to the minors and only made one more appearance at the big league level the rest of the way, striking out as a pinch-hitter on June 10th. He was .188/.263/.246 in 27 games, but did better with the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes, where he hit .270/.326/.429 in 89 games, with 26 doubles, 6 homers and 65 RBIs.

The Dodgers had a glut of infielders heading into spring training in 2014, with Ramirez, Gordon and Jose Uribe still around, and Cuban defector Alex Guerrero having been signed, and veterans Chone Figgins and Brendan Harris also in camp. Sellers was the odd man out and on March 2nd, his contract was sold to the Cleveland Indians.

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