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James Loney has never been an amazing player for the Dodgers, but he has been able to put up solid numbers for a few seasons.
After the Dodgers signed him to a $6.3 million per year contract, Loney has had a lackluster start to the 2012 season.
2012 so far: .227 BA .299 OBP 1 HR 8 RBI
Projected (at current pace): .227 BA .299 OBP 5 HR 39 RBI
Loney has had a few slumping months in his career, but none were as unproductive as his April and May to this point. In the past, even when Loney’s batting average has dipped, he has usually been able to still find a way to drive in runs.
Although he had a below-average 2011 season, Loney was able to get it going towards the end of the season and capped it off on a high note with great offensive performances in August and September.
Loney’s rocky start to the 2012 season is certainly concerning for the Dodgers, but don’t expect him to be stagnant for the remainder of the season.
The Dodgers recently picked up veteran Bobby Abreu, who will compete with Loney for a starting position at first base, which should cause Loney to step up his game with some friendly intra-squad competition.
Loney’s slow start has been defined not only by poor performance but also by a general lack of intensity. He won’t take his playing time for granted any longer if he has to compete for a spot on the team.
He should pick up his offensive play shortly and begin to play a more important role in the Dodgers' lineup.
Prediction: .275 BA .325 OBP 14 HR 75 RBI