With the emergence of Juan Rivera, who has the second highest batting average on the team, James Loney has been starting a lot of games on the bench. Once a steady hitter who averaged 90 RBI’s the last three years, Loney has struggled in the last month batting .176 and driving in 5 runs.
Loney’s future in LA is at risk according to Tony Jackson of ESPN/LA.
“…Loney is making $4.875 million this year, and he has one more winter of arbitration eligibility. Simple logic would suggest that the Dodgers won’t go there with him this year, that if he doesn’t agree to a salary for 2012 far below the roughly $5.5 million he would stand to make through arbitration, they will simply bid him adieu. …”
LA Times writer Dylan Hernandez says that Loney must play in order to prove himself.
“…They have a decision to make, and I want it easy on them to bring me back,” Loney said. “But I have to play well; I have to play up to my talent level.”
First, he has to play, period. …”
MLB.com Dodger beat writer Ken Gurnick has a story pointing to a telling offseason for James Loney.
“James Loney is having his worst season after a bad second half last year, and he’s not even the everyday first baseman anymore, manager Don Mattingly saying Loney will continue to share time with Juan Rivera when Rivera isn’t playing left field.
All of that means Loney is at the top of the list of likely non-tender candidates come December, as the Dodgers are unlikely to pay him a raise from the $4.875 million he receives this year. …”
All of this negative attention does not bode well for Loney. We can hope that he will turn it around but it looks like the Dodgers may not tender him a contract this fall unless he agrees to a pay cut.
This Day in Dodgers History
On August 5, 1979 – In an 8-1 win over the Giants, Dodger right-hander Don Sutton becomes the team’s all-time strikeout leader with his 2,487th career strikeout.