James Loney, is it too Late for You?

By Tim Morris

When you see the Dodgers have won eight of their last nine games you immediately think that Matt Kemp must be insanely hot but no, he’s hitting as well as he always has.

No, it’s been James Loney. In the month of August James Loney is hitting .355 with 5 home-runs, 3 in the last 7 games, and 14 RBI’s.This is the James Loney that everybody’s been waiting but is it too late for him to stay a Dodger? With Jerry Sands waiting and Juan Rivera enjoying his time as a Dodger and able to play first, will the Dodgers see this as what they always felt Loney could do or will they see it as a hot streak and nothing more and non-tender him in the off-season.

Personally I think they’d be foolish to do so. He’s only 27 and barely entering his prime. He’s 6’2, 205 pounds and has shown he can hit for good power but it’s always been my opinion that when a former Dodger hitting coach had him altar his swing to an inside-out approach. An inside-out swing is where  the hands come through ahead of the end of the bat which causes the ball to be hit to the opposite field more often, and James Loney gets a lot of his power when he pulls the ball, so if most of his hits are going the opposite way, he isn’t going to hit a lot of balls out of the park.

Lately though, he seems to have stepped back off the plate and adopted a longer swing and now he’s pulling the ball more and it’s producing not only more hits but home-runs as well. With his glove, his hitting eye and potential to be a great hitter, the Dodgers should give him another shot.

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