James Loney is about to ascend to Marlon Anderson levels of God-hood. In his brief time with the team this year, Loney is hitting .471/.486/.971. After 145 career plate appearances, he's hitting .331/.377/.662. While that doesn't quite topple Marlon Anderson from his lofty perch as Dodgers career OPS+ leader, it does put him in the same class as Mike Piazza and Gary Sheffield. Now, some might say that a .971 OPS is unsustainable, and that's true. However, you have to consider that he's hitting .471. If he regresses to a .300 batting average, that's still a .700 slugging percentage. While that's not quite as good, I'll take it.
More seriously, whatever James Loney does when he gets to the big leagues, he should keep doing it. Baseball Primer commenter Walt Davis had this to say about him.
His ISO [Power] by level:
MLB: 313 (Now .500)
In his minor league career, James Loney hit a home run ever 56.28 at bats. In the bigs, he's hit a home run every 19.43 at bats. Relative to the park he's played in, James Loney really hasn't had any power spikes throughout his career, it's just that once he starts facing big league pitching, the ball suddenly starts flying out of the yard. In the end, this is just Loney performing in a small sample size, but I certainly don't mind benefiting from this little hot streak.
On the flip side of the coin is Nomar, who at this point I just feel bad for. He looked utterly lost in five at bats, and saw his EQA drop below Juan Pierre's. I can't psychoanalyze Nomar, I can't offer any solutions, but something needs to change about him, or we're just wasting our time.
The Dodgers deep farm system keeps this horrendous slump by Nomar from turning into a disaster. James Loney has thus far done an excellent job filling in for our slumping first baseman. Hopefully, Nomar can bounce back before Loney starts inevitably regressing to the mean.