With Andre Ethier and Jonathan Broxton already named to the 2010 All-Star game, and Rafael Furcal recently added to replace Jose Reyes, there is one Dodger who would fit the role just as well, if not better.
Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman James Loney is having an above-average season while quietly floating under the All-Star radar.
Loney is certainly one of the premier fielders in the National League, with only two errors and a .997 fielding percentage. His fielding abilities have saved several runs from being scored already this season, but his hitting has been equally impressive.
The first baseman is hitting holds a .305 batting average with 59 RBIs and 102 hits in 334 at-bats.
It is widely believed that the All-Star Game has turned in to a popularity contest, with most season achievements being recognized by coaches adding players to the roster.
However, two of the three Dodgers that have punched tickets to Anaheim have spent significant time on the disabled list.
Ethier spent over two and a half weeks on the DL after a freak accident in pre-game batting practice resulted in a broken pinky. His numbers steadily declined following his return, yet he will be starting for the National League on Tuesday.
Rafael Furcal has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball since his return from the bereavement list. However, he has missed 31 games, which significantly limits production. Who knows what could have happened in those games? Had he stayed healthy, he could be leading the league in batting average, or finding himself struggling to stay above water.
Loney has been a workhorse all season, playing in all but one of the Dodgers' games. His main problem? He plays in a league that features popular first basemen and perennial All-Stars Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.
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