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When is a platoon not a platoon?

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

Comments () | Archives (9)

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Mattingly having more options isn't necessarily a good thing. He learned from JoJo The Clown and we all know JoJo didn't start playing the right players until forced to, then he'd still stick in an Andruw Jones or a Garret Anderson [insert Marcus Thames name here] for reasons only known to Joe and God himself. Play your best players period.

"With the Dodgers approaching health"

- it just seems that way Ned- er, Steve... like all those other times.

Who hasn't been on the DL yet this season?

Excluding (for the moment) the rookies, only veteran bats on the 25 haven't taken 15 are barajas, carroll, miles, slappy 'e', loney, gwynn & kemp.

If we don't count those who have already been there (and exclude the greedy raffy who has been there more than once), the question becomes:

Whose turn is it next?

I agree with Label, with one additional thought: hitting is repetition. If you don't get regular repetition, you don't learn to hit. If you don't hit, you can't hit.

Further, I never liked platooning. Playing regularly makes you better; platooning is an interruption that throws timing off.

As Label said, "Play your best players, period."

Re Labeldude

Well said!! DonDo definately went to the JoJo clown school. Its time to move on and trade Loweeney for anything you can get and DFA Thames. Geez!!!

Marcus Thames? Really? I thought that was Garrett Anderson in lf.
He'll get a lot of playing time. So will Furcal when he comes back. The Dodgers don't like the kids outplaying the vets.

I rather like these position switches, I think it adds a little interest to the game. We also don't have the same guys making all the outs. It breaks up the monotony.
It doesn't seem to help much with the scoring but it's always worth a try to mix it up a little. But of course like everything else, we never know.

When is a platoon not a platoon? When the substitute player has a worse average than the starter. Unfortunately that is the case with the Dodgers. When you're starting guys like Thames and Uribe you're not really getting much of a bump on right-left split.

Hate to mention this, but Juan Uribe is a Dodger for 3 seasons. Wow!


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