YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Dodgers' James Loney doesn't start against left-hander

First baseman doesn't want to be platooned, and Don Mattingly says he will be playing more against lefties.

April 24, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers first baseman James Loney fouls off a pitch during Saturday's game against the Houston Astros. Loney did not start Tuesday's game against the Atlanta Braves.
Dodgers first baseman James Loney fouls off a pitch during Saturday's… (Bob Levey / Getty Images )

James Loney wasn't in the lineup Tuesday. A left-hander was on the mound for the Atlanta Braves.

"You can't say it's a numbers thing on this one," Loney said, noting he was two for three lifetime against Braves starter Mike Minor.

Loney didn't raise his voice. He spoke calmly and even smiled. But the left-handed-hitting first baseman made it clear he doesn't want to be a platoon player.

"I want to play every day," Loney said.

In the eight games the Dodgers have faced a left-handed starter, Loney has been out of the lineup five times.

Manager Don Mattingly said Loney's latest benching had less to do with Loney's troubles hitting left-handers and more to do with wanting to play Jerry Hairston Jr. Juan Rivera played first base, and Hairston took Rivera's regular spot in left field.

Loney won't be sitting against left-handers for long, according to Mattingly.

"Now, he's getting sharper and sharper," Mattingly said. "He's getting to the point where we're going to see him more against lefties than less."

Loney batted .213 against left-handers last season. He was two for 11 (.182) against them entering Tuesday.

"I have to hit them to play them," Loney said.

But if you're not facing them …

"Yeah, but I'm sure I'll have my chances to do that," he said.

Guerrier to DL

Reliever Matt Guerrier went on the 15-day disabled list because of right elbow tendinitis and was replaced on the active roster by left-hander Michael Antonini, who was called up from triple-A Albuquerque.

Guerrier last pitched on April 18. His move to the DL is retroactive to a day after that.

Mattingly said Guerrier's elbow has been bothering him since spring training, even as the right-hander compiled an earned-run average of 2.70 in seven games.

"It's more the recovery day that's the problem," Mattingly said.

Guerrier underwent an MRI exam Tuesday that revealed he didn't have any ligament damage. He received an injection of platelet-rich plasma.

Late-night call

Antonini was in Oklahoma City with the Dodgers' triple-A affiliate when he took a call at 1 a.m. Tuesday.

He had earned his first-ever call-up to the major leagues.

Antonini, 26, immediately called his mother, who lives in Pennsylvania.

"She answered in a bit of a panic," he said.

Antonini was drafted by the New York Mets out of Georgia College in the 18th round of the 2007 draft. The Dodgers acquired him in December 2010 for infielder Chin-lung Hu.

Antonini was 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA in four triple-A games, including three starts. The Dodgers plan to use him as a reliever.

Short hops

Talented but troubled reliever Ronald Belisario will soon begin a minor league rehabilitation with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. Belisario, who is serving a 25-game suspension for a positive cocaine test, is eligible to return to the majors May 4. Belisario has been working out at the Dodgers' spring training complex in Arizona. ... Sidelined reliever Todd Coffey will pitch for Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday and Friday.

Los Angeles Times Articles