Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Prospect James Loney Summoned by Dodgers

James Loney, a 21-year-old prospective first baseman for the Dodgers, batted .438 in the Grapefruit League this spring, almost 200 points higher than rival Nomar Garciaparra, 32. But Garciaparra is an established superstar and is under contract for $6 million so Loney was sent down and Garciaparra kept the 1B job. Now Loney has been called back to Los Angeles due to Garciaparra's placement on the DL with a strained ribcage muscle. Though Garciaparra has a .320 lifetime batting average, he has missed about half the season because of injuries in each of the past two years. Loney has had no official major league appearances but is expected to remain in uniform in Los Angeles until Garciaparra returns in less than two weeks.