Thursday, March 25, 2010
Around the Diamond- Right Field
I love the bat, but which Garrett Jones will we see. Will we see the guy that pounded out 21 homers in 82 games? Can he possibly have a repeat of that? Did the Pirates actually catch lightning in a bottle with Jones? I sure hope so because they will surely need his power bat in the middle of the order.
What the Pirates can't asfford is for Jones to be a flash in the pan. I think he will turn out to be for real though. He is swinging the bat well in spring training also. A 30/100 type of season would be tremendous.
One thing "The Legend" does need to improve though is his inability to hit with runners in scoring position. he was actually pretty lousy in those situations last season. he got pitched tougher and didn't adjust well. If he can become a legitimate threat with men on base, then the Bucs may have something here.
In the event that Jones has to be the everyday first baseman, then one of a group of Ryan Church, Brandon Moss and Delwyn Young should get at bats in right field. I would look for them to find ways to get Church into the lineup anyways. Moss and Young should be strictly bench guys for the time being.
The big question is, what do the Bucs do when Jose Tabata is deemed ready? There will be some dealing and lineup shuffling, but it's a good problem to have. Jeff Clement really could hold the key to Tabata's arrival. If he struggles for two months, the by June, the Bucs may be willing to move Jones to first and call up Tabata.
Position Grade Compared to the Rest of the League- B- - Would be higher, but as much as I like Jones, he is still a bit unproven at the MLB level