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Is recent platoon of James Loney at first a look at things to come?

Loney_300 When is a platoon not a platoon?

Apparently, when the manager says it’s not. Which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be. Or that, in reality, it just might be.

Monday, for the second time in four days, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly sat struggling first baseman James Loney against a left-handed pitcher. Then denied it was a platoon.

"James is going to hit, we just got to get him there,’’ Mattingly said. "I believe in James, I’ve always believed in his ability. That’s the main thing, keep staying with him. ... I know what he’s capable of.’’

His belief in Loney isn't based on the player’s last four months of baseball. Loney hit .309 with 63 RBI before the All-Star break last season. After the break, he hit .211 with 25 RBI.

This season, his struggles have only continued. He’s currently batting .204 with 12 RBI. And he’s hitting just .125 against left-handers.

I like that Mattingly has sat him and switched rookie Jerry Sands to first and started Marcus Thames in left. It’s a quicker, bolder move than we would have seen in recent years. Loney needs to pick it up, and he can’t claim the Dodgers haven’t been patient with him.

It’s always a tricky maneuver attempting to support Loney, the bane of stat freaks everywhere. Loney plays an infield corner position that typically provides power. And power ain’t Loney’s thing.

To lock down first base, he has to at least hit for average and drive in runs. This is his fifth season, and his offensive curve is not headed up.

Time, and Loney, will show if this is really a platoon. If he hits, it goes away. For now, though, it’s probably not a regular platoon. But if Loney doesn’t get it turned around fairly soon, it should be.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: James Loney. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire

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It will be a platoon now and a non-tender at years end!!!!

To justify Loney's lack of power he would have to be a .330 hitter and not a .285 career hitter. I just don't understand the love for his game by Dodger fans.

This is good. Loney has to put up the numbers, not just knock the occasionally timely rbi. For this to have lasted this long, his swing or head or both must be seriously effed up.

I only hope he hasn't caught Russell Martin Disease, and shines once he's traded.

I may be able to help soon.

Loney is just another in a long list of Dodgers who really don't have any concern about their performance. Think Fatso Broxton and the way he came into camp this season at what, 723 pounds? Last year it was Kemp. For two years, it was Russell Martin. Don't even bring up the first Fatso, Andruw Jones.

They're just too cool to be real baseball players.

Andruw Jones was never a Dodger. I don't think he was here long enough to even pick up his hefty paycheck.

Hey, Chumpy ...

Please provide a link to an article or interview in which Loney stated that he "doesn't have any concern about his performance."

I am very interested in seeing the entire story so that I can judge the context for myself.

Not sure, but Marcus Thames is clearly still hurt. He can't push off his back leg (quad) and has no power. He needs a little DL stint.

If you want to have Ethier get to see less left hand pitching , you trade Loney for, preferably, a good minor league prospect (third baseman}. Or you platoon him and keep his punch and judy bat. It got Snider to the Hall OF Fame. He was the only left handed bat in the boys of summer until Amoros came along and he didn`t scare any pitcher.The Brave used to schedule Spahn around the Dodgrs of the Fifties. Ethier, like Snider was, is not a great hitter against lhp.

no secret I'm a fan of what Loney brings us when hitting .288, with 40-something doubles, 90-plus RBI, solid if not gold glove defense (though still yet to win one) at first base.

He's got to start hitting. Even Uribe is almost hitting as well as Kershaw's .267 average now.

between lines:
Mattingly, still giving him a chance, so if he's trying something, fine, let's play it out and see if it works. He can't hit for Loney, that's for sure. (And if he does we'll be 0-for-14 trying to make the playoffs - sorry, couldn't resist that one on the yankees).

anyway, not buying excuses like "its a small sample, let 'em play some games" etc etc etc.... mattingly fix it, loney and others start hitting, and let's win some games.

Frank McCourt has helped assemble a solid team. I sure hope the execs find it in their hearts to allow Mr McCourt a second chance in running this fine franchise.

I beileve he is so misunderstood.

"When is a platoon not a platoon?"

- gee, I dunno... when charlie sheen re-writes his role & it becomes "Winning"? (alternate working title 'I’m an F-18, bro.')

"Apparently, when the manager says it’s not. Which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be. Or that, in reality, it just might be."

- me thinks bill clinton's descript of "what 'is' is" would be easier to follow... and less viscous.

As for loney, james isn't even a poor man's Wes Parker, let alone a rich man's garvey, Hodges or (didn't I wish as an child he were a Dodger, Willie 'Stretch' McCovey). I believe james swing/game would be best suited playing Yankee Stadium, where he could as russ martin has (cue Matt Foley) "get back on the right track."

Back to my favorite LA Dodger 1st baseman history, Wes was named to the Rawling's 'All Time Gold Glove' team, beating out such fare (fair?) as a don mattingly himself & too keith hernandez (the latter who was as overhyped for his fielding as slappy 'e' today his hitting (Power? MVP? Triple Crown? Gesundheit - DOA - surely you jest.)

There, one more gratuitous slap nee knock in the books...

Is recent platoon of James Loney at first a look at things to come?
I'd like to think of it as "a first look at things to go." Namely, James Loney.
Ned, I bet Dotel's available...

I agree it will be a platoon until something changes. Loney better hit some line drives or he'll go broke first.

Sands at first and Thames in Left is the best offensive lineup the Dodgers can muster at this time. Keep it like that Mattingly. Loney has always been a pure slap hitter that doesn't hit for average or power. If you are going to be Mark Grace then you gotta bat .315 every year otherwise you aren't cutting it.

Loney love ya... but your stinking up the joint. Traded at the deadline.

It's a contract year for Loney, and if Sands starts hitting, Loney can be gone by the trade deadline...

First, Thames is on the DL.

Second, I believe that Loney is a better major league hitter than Sands, Thames, Gibbons and Gwynn. Gwynn earns a back-up roster spot for his defense and speed. Sands is not there yet but has potential. Gibbons was a waste of money and Thames might also have been. I would stick with Loney this year and give Sands a try in left field. But I am with the masses in saying that unless Loney can hit .300 from May to September, then he is not a starting first basebman. But I still believe that Loney is capable of hitting .290-8-75 for the rest of the year. In which case, he is maybe a starting baseman for one or two out of thirty teams, but the Dodgers should explore opening up the purse-strings and snagging a free agent. If not Pujols or Fielder, maybe Gonzalez or Texiera if the Yankees or Red Sox snag Albert.

he will be gone soon either by trade or free agency all of the high priced players will be gone as long as Mccourt owns the team hes broke so he will be dumping salaries very soon. If he is truly sorry like he says he is why doesnt he drop the price of parking the ticket prices and food and beer prices as wel..

Wow, for those that think Loney needs to go, well, you better go as you do not know baseball!

I hate to be redundant, but Darrin, his career BA w/ the club is .288,he has averaged 91 Ribbies a season, & no, he is not a slugger - he had 36 total HR's in the minors, for an average of 6 per season, so why bring up the power issue ?

His average is climbing, he hits the gaps & is as solid a glove man at 1B we have had for years & if you think Garvey was better, you didn't see him throw to 2B on a DP & have the ball end up in the runner's back or in LF !

This club has far more issues than Loney & the biggest are 3B & a Closer !

One, we NEEDED a 3B with power, but no, Dread could not sign or trade for one, so we end up with a journeyman 3B, who has less than average for a 3B, played less games than hes been off with a 'charley horse', pffftt, etc.

Dread knew who he had at 1B & as an alleged GM, he did not do his job in acquiring Blake!

So lay off James & blame the people responsible & they are Dread & McDork!


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