Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Loney And The Power Void

One of the most common criticisms of James Loney, the Dodgers' new $4.875M man, is that he lacks HR power at a corner-infield position that is usually associated with power. With the Dodgers' inability to sign a big bat this offseason, any persistence of this power-outage trend is going to be under more scrutiny next year.

Which is why I was surprised to see this comment from Ken Gurnick's latest piece, "Ethier, Loney are on the comeback trail":

By contrast, Loney was healthy but lost his approach at the plate during the second half of the season, hitting .211 after the All-Star break. His .267 overall average was the lowest of his career, and he struggled to a .221 average against left-handed pitching. He had 88 RBIs, but only 25 in the second half. And he hit just 10 home runs on the season at positions -- first base and in the middle of the batting order -- where power is expected.

Loney said that he has "revamped" his swing path in recent sessions with batting coach Jeff Pentland and is comfortable again, physically and mentally.

"I have to stay precise with the bat on the ball," said Loney, who agreed to a one-year salary of $4.875 million last week to avoid arbitration. "I got to where I tried too hard to do this and that, and you can get to where you overdo it in certain situations. I have to slow myself down and not try to hit the ball 800 feet.

Shoot, I'd settle for 400 feet to right-center field. Come on, James! We know you've got it in you!

lightbulb photo from shutterstock; Loney photo from getty images (2008 NLDS vs. the Cubs)


Mr. Doctor said...

Maybe he should try the Martin approach of gaining 30lbs of muscle during the offseason. Haha.

Alex Cora said...


Fernie V said...

Matty has an excuse for everyone. Either pinky and kemp was off but still hit 28 homers, Loney my freedom fighter friends was just bad.

Loney Fan said...

That's just about enough about Loney's lack of power. I really don't want to change my screen name.

Steve Sax said...

@Loney Fan: Whatever you do, don't change your avatar.