Jones and role-playing
There’s been a lot made of what the team intends to do with Adam Jones, who is awesome, and whether they’re going to play him all the time, some of the time, never, or what. McLaren’s made some comments, and whatever.
Here’s the thing: what McLaren, or Bavasi, or anyone, says about the team’s plan should be discarded immediately. The only thing we should pay attention to in the next few weeks is when Jones actually plays, and how he does.
We know a couple of contradictory things: McLaren’s been spouting about how little he intends to use Jones. But despite McLaren’s comments, they didn’t call Jones up to play him once a week, or use him as a defensive replacement to carry the destroyed legs of Ibanez/Guillen. McLaren’s clearly also trying to manage the veterans, who haven’t been hitting or fielding, as best he can, which would prevent him from exposing plans to fit a full-time player in the roster. And yet the team’s trying to get into the playoffs for the first time after years of entirely unsatisfying play, and if Jones is playing well and clearly helping them at that, they’ll play him even if the plan really was to have him play twice a week, which it isn’t.
We’ll see. Jones did well last night, so they’ll probably throw him another start as soon as they can figure out a pretext to do so (rest someone on Sunday, say) and then if he’s still on fire, they’ll throw him playing time in Baltimore. His path is obviously made clearer if he’s tearing it up, and then McLaren will go in front of reporters and say “What can I do, the kid’s made a spot for himself, everyone likes winning,” and shrug.
You don’t have to have faith or lack faith in the front office at this point. Complaining about playing time they haven’t had a chance to not allocate to him yet isn’t useful. Let’s wait and see how this plays out, and we can dissect the statements later.