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When is a platoon not a platoon?

June 8, 2011 |  2:18 pm

Apparently when it’s just not every single day.

The Dodgers face another left-handed pitcher Wednesday in Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels, and once again another Dodgers left-handed hitting regular is sitting.

On Monday night, manager Don Mattingly sat Andre Ethier and James Loney against left-hander Cliff Lee. Now Wednesday, Loney is again on the bench with Casey Blake at first and Juan Uribe at third, so Jamey Carroll can get in the lineup against Hamels.

With Jerry Sands able to play first and left, and with Blake capable at first, this kind of substitution semi-pattern could continue. And with excellent reason.

Both Ethier and Loney have struggled in recent seasons against lefties.

Ethier is currently hitting .222 against left-handers, with seven RBI. Last year he hit .233 against lefties, all down from his career average of .245.

Loney is even worse. He’s batting a miserable .176 vs. lefties with two RBI. He hit .222 against left-handers last season, all down from his .254 career mark.

With the Dodgers approaching health, Mattingly has more options and clearly plans to use them, which should be a good thing.

It may not be an actual platoon -- certainly Ethier figures to get the vast majority of the starts -- but it's a trend worth noting.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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