Skip to content

Chad Billingsley needs to have a good sinker tonight

May 15, 2012, 7:03 PM EDT

Chad Billingsley Getty Images

That’s because Andre Ethier is making his first career start in center field for the Dodgers against the Diamondbacks and southpaw Wade Miley.

Manager Don Mattingly indicated last night that Ethier would make a limited number of starts in center with Matt Kemp out. Tony Gwynn Jr. will play there against righties, but shifting Ethier to center against lefties allows the Dodgers to get Scott Van Slyke’s bat in the lineup.

Unfortunately, it also makes for a pretty dreadful outfield defense. The Dodgers have Jerry Sands starting in left field alongside Ethier and Van Slyke tonight.

Now, I could live with all of that except for one thing… James Loney is starting at first base tonight. The James Loney who is hitting .152/.200/.212 in 33 at-bats against left-handers this year. The James Loney who is a career .248/.304/.361 hitter in 743 at-bats versus southpaws.

I just don’t see how the Dodgers could possibly be better off with Loney at first base tonight than with Gwynn in center and Sands at first base. Gwynn can’t hit lefties either (career .237/.291/.294 in 262 AB), but at least he’s a superior defensive center fielder. He’d make three positions better by being in the starting lineup.

  1. Jon Weisman - May 15, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    “his first career start in center field for the Dodgers”
    but not in a major-league park, thanks to the 2010 All-Star Game.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Yanks, Cards and Reds hit with injury bug
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Gonzalez (2591)
  2. J. Votto (2537)
  3. E. Encarnacion (2397)
  4. M. Tanaka (2396)
  5. J. Nelson (2280)
  1. R. Braun (2274)
  2. M. Trumbo (2270)
  3. J. Samardzija (2223)
  4. B. Hamilton (2124)
  5. V. Martinez (2086)