James Loney may ultimately pull it all together and hit .300 with 20 HR and 100 RBI, but I vote him off the island – James, you are fired!
You start the process by getting rid of what you don’t want or need. I know some will say that he is hitting better in June (.286), but it’s with no power. I like James Loney, I like his glove. I like him as a person, but on a team hat is starved for power, the Dodgers need to send him packing because 1B is going to be an easier position to find a bat than at 3B this year. I think there are three (3) players who could fit the bill at 1B:
- Kevin Youkilis
- Justin Morneau
- Chase Utley
All three players come with a lot of risk, and none are a long-term solution at 1B, but no risk – no reward! All three players have had injury issues. All three players are former All-Stars and all three have multiple productive years. All are in their mid-30′s. All have question marks.
Kevin Youkilis has had back problems but is playing after his return from the DL. He has had only one season with over 100 RBI, so he has the least to offer in potential, but he can play both 1B and 3B, although he is best suited for 1B.
Justin Morneau is the youngest of the three at 31, and is left-handed. He has had 4 years of over 100 RBI and is a former AL MVP. His stats are not eye-popping this year, but after playing sparingly the past two year and on a bad team, he could benefit from a change of scenery.
Chase Utley has played a few games at 1B in the major leagues and is also LH. He has a good glove, so I don’t think the move to 1B would be a problem. He’s from Pasadena and played high school baseball at Polytechnic High School and college baseball at University of California, so I can’t imagine he wouldn’t like to come home. The only question is if he can play. He is currently on a minor league rehab assignment and is due back soon.
I think all three players could be had, especially if the Dodgers would pay all of their salaries and the right package was offered.
You start by putting James Loney on the market and cut ties with him ASAP. Houston may be a possible destination. Sending him home may be just what he needs. Get what you can and move on. It’s over, James. Also, send a message to the rest of the team – “underachievement will not be tolerated.”
Personally, I think the Dodgers would have to watch these players for two or three more weeks to determine their health. Youk is my least favorite. Morneau or Utley would be huge upgrades, if healthy.