The funniest part about this whole situation is that it takes a 34 year old washed up Oriole to get Ned excited about using his farm system. Xavier Paul: summarily ignored. Ivan DeJesus: not a chance. Chin-Lung Hu: he's no Juan Castro. Not that I think these guys need to (or needed to) be handed a starting job but it is clear that Ned is terrified of giving a young player a chance to have a spot on the roster.
I am OK with Marcus Thames as the right side of the left field platoon. It would be better if he batted left-handed so he could get the majority of at-bats but I think he should get some chances against RHP's because I don't think Gibbons is going to be good enough to face every righty.
I would say that we should put our hopes in Trayvon Robinson knocking on the door by June but it would involve Ned making that call. This is a guy who stuck with Garret Anderson for over four months.
The combination of Thames and Gibbons may hit league average but the defense is going to suffer again. Manny was bad in the field but you could deal with it because of his bat. Gibbons has a lifetime -1.3 UZR/150 in the field and Thames' UZR/150 is -7.6. As bad as Andre Ethier is in the field, the outfield could have used an upgrade in that department and, instead, it got old. Sure, there is a chance that Tony Gwynn Jr. comes in and takes a good amount of playing time, thus improving the outfield's defense but he has to get on base.
As much as the Dodgers need power, I will probably be focusing more on James Loney. If he can come back to life, the Dodgers won't need Jay Gibbons or Marcus Thames to much more than hit behind Loney and try to knock him in.
One thing that is reassuring in this is that Ned has dropped his love of the slappy and grindy players. The best thing that Gibbons and Thames do is hit home runs. They probably won't hit a lot but unlike Scott Podsednik and Ryan Theriot, you can expect to see Gibbons, Thames, Juan Uribe and Rod Barajas to hit home runs in relative regularity,
Other than Bill Plaschke, it is hard to find a fan of the current version of the Dodgers left handed platoon. Matt Klaassen doesn't buy Jay Gibbons at all, MTSI is not a fan of the deal, look around and it is hard to find much support for a guy who had 80 plate appearances in garbage time and, while Thames is better, he doesn't seem to be a guy who can take the position away from anyone else since he never did so with the Tigers and Yankees.
I don't see doom and gloom in left field - just disappointment.