Baltimore Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette had some interesting comments on center fielder Adam Jones.
The Orioles pitchers and catchers showed up to Sarasota, Florida today, where they will participate in full workouts tomorrow. After the first day, Duquette was asked a question about Baltimore improving their outfield defense. He gave his response, citing ESPN’s Doug Glanville‘s (a former Major League center fielder) thoughts on how Orioles outfielder Adam Jones plays the field.
“Those things come up, talking to Wayne (Kirby), talking to analytics people, whatever,” Showalter said. “Adam’s very approachable about that stuff. But I also can show you a bunch of balls that he catches in front of him that no other center fielder does. The analytics is that balls over your head are doubles and triples and balls in front of you are singles. I got the math of it. But there’s an add and subtract to that, too.
“Adam’s approachable. He’s also one of the better center fielders in the game. He does a lot of things for us that other people can’t do. Also, the arm comes into play a lot more when he’s a little shallower. There’s a lot of ways to look at it.”
Showalter would continue:
We’ll sit down and talk. I want to get his input, his feelings about it and the respect I have for him, and we’ll see if there’s a way we can improve at every place. But (Glanville’s) not saying anything that we haven’t talked about in detail since I’ve been here for five years. It’s something we weren’t quite as good at it last year as we’ve been in the past. And I’m not talking about Adam, just our coverage in general. A lot of that had to do just with ability as opposed to positioning.
This shouldn’t get fans too worried. The outfield is a unit, not a loose group of players. When Jones has to cover more ground for outfielders who aren’t world-beaters in the field like Hyun-Soo Kim, Travis Snider, Mark Trumbo, etc, his play will take a hit.
With the addition of Seth Smith and a healthy Joey Rickard, the Orioles’ defense should be much better. Though this is the case, maybe Jones could play back a bit more to save doubles or triples. It depends on Showalter’s plans are for Jones in the field.