Dodger outfielder Jay Gibbons' eyesight ‘an overall mess'

BY ED GODFREY, Staff Writer, egodfrey@opubco.com Published: April 18, 2011
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Jay Gibbons is hoping his career isn't over — again.

Three years ago the former Baltimore Orioles slugger was named in the steroids-related Mitchell Report and was released by the team before the season.

Gibbons admitted steroid use and apologized. Still, no major league team wanted him until the Los Angeles Dodgers gave him a shot at redemption last year.

Gibbons impressed a Dodger scout at a baseball tryout in Venezuela and was signed to a minor league contract.

The Dodgers assigned Gibbons to their Triple-A club in Albuquerque where he hit .347 with 19 home runs before calling him up in August. With the Dodgers, Gibbons hit five home runs and 17 RBIs in just 75 at bats.

Gibbons played so well he was projected as a starter in the Dodgers outfield entering this season.

However, vision problems forced the career .260 hitter with 126 career home runs to start the 2011 campaign in Albuquerque.

Gibbons said following Saturday's game against the RedHawks that he wasn't sure when he could return to the Dodgers. He is scheduled to finish his rehabilitation assignment with the Isotopes on April 26.

“If I tell them my vision is good and I can string together a few games, I'm back,” Gibbons said. “But there is no reason to go back if I am not able to hit pitching down here.”

Gibbons, 34, was hitless in the first two games of the Isotopes' series against the Oklahoma City RedHawks on Friday and Saturday.

He was out of the lineup Monday night because he left to get another evaluation about his vision. Gibbons already has seen “four or five” specialists, he said.

“We've had plenty of opinions,” he said.

His vision problems began over the winter when he had an eye procedure done to correct a 2004 laser surgery.

“I had a touch-up this offseason because my vision was a little off last year,” he said. “It didn't go very well. They overcorrected me.”

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