Colletti rules out Damon, says Loney needs to hit for power
With the Dodgers one month from opening training camp, General Manager Ned Colletti said Thursday that he has not necessarily finished acquiring new players.
Colletti specifically ruled out signing outfielder Johnny Damon. And, by saying he would look into a right-handed bat to platoon with Jay Gibbons in left field, Colletti essentially ruled out re-signing Scott Podsednik.
"The bullpen is always something I'm intrigued to add to if we can," Colletti said at the baseball owners' meetings. "If we can find a right-handed bat to platoon (in left field), we'd pursue that.
"If we can't solve it by the time we open camp, we've got options in-house. We're always open to shuffling the deck at any point in time."
Colletti, asked whether the Dodgers needed big seasons from Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to return to the playoffs, said, "I think you have to add (James) Loney."
Loney, the Dodgers' first baseman, hit .267 last season with 10 home runs. He also had 41 doubles, which ranked fifth in the National League.
He never has hit more than 15 home runs, but Colletti said the 26-year-old Loney still could grow into a power hitter. Colletti said Loney worked with hitting instructor Jeff Pentland this winter on pulling the ball with power.
"I'd watch him at 5:15 (during batting practice), and he'd hit some of the longest balls of the day," Colletti said. "Then the game starts, and his approach changes. It's a matter of transferring it from practice to the actual game."
-- Bill Shaikin in Scottsdale, Ariz.