There is a line in the Simon and Garfunkel song Mrs.Robinson that says ” where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, the nation turns its lonely eyes you”. With all do respect to “joltin’ Joe” Baltimore fans are wondering where our center fielder, Adam Jones, has gone.
Jones has taken the collar in six at bats in the series so far with two strikeouts and one double play and is now hitting a season low .307. While a .307 batting is nothing to sneeze at, it is the type of at bats that Jones is having that should be of concern to everyone associated with the Orioles.
Earlier in the season Adam Jones showed great plate discipline rarely swinging at pitches out of the strike zone and often worked the count in his favor. This often lead to pitchers eventually serving up “meatballs” to Jones and he capitalized by hitting 11 home runs and driving in 36 runs in April and May.
It is now June and the weather has warmed up while Adam Jones’ bat has cooled off. In his last six games Jones is 5- for-26 for a robust .192 average. Jones has almost as many strikeouts(6) in the last week as he has RBI’s(7) for the month. Things have gotten so bad that Jones left out of the starting lineup for tonight’s game in favor of Felix Pie(although Dave Trembley said this was planned for a while, which is an idiotic statement).
The first game of the series against the Marlins might have been Jones’ worst game in an Oriole uniform as he went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and a double play, all of which occurred with a runner on base.
Jones has been struggling so bad that the Orioles play by play announcers are resigned to use the dreaded ” he has hit the ball hard, but has nothing to show for it” line that they have used to try to make some of the Orioles most mediocre hitters hitting better.
If Jones really was “hitting the ball hard” but had nothing to show for it then I would not be writing this blog and it would not be a major concern. Dave Trembley has culminated the problem by moving Jones to the 3rd spot in the order against left handers which has Jones swinging for the fences instead of just trying to get base hits. I think the “two hole” is best for Jones but giving his recent struggles moving him down to sixth or seventh in the order might help him get his stroke back.
After the first two months of the season, Adam Jones’ play had O’s fans speculating that he might already be the greatest center fielder in Orioles history. However, now Jones is looking more like Luis Matos and Curtis Goodwin then Paul Blair.
I think Adam Jones will turn things around and eventually become the superstar everyone thinks he is, but it won’t come without hard work and plate discipline which he has not shown this month.
But for now I continue to wonder, “where have you gone Adam Jones, Baltimore turns its lonely eyes on you”