Is Jones' defense a huge worry?

Is Jones' defense a huge worry?
May 2, 2013, 9:15 am
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Even though he’s seriously misplayed five balls this season, Adam Jones has been charged with just one error. This morning, his misplays are on the minds of countless Orioles fans.

The Gold Glove centerfielders' two early defensive lapses on Wednesday night didn’t exactly cost the Orioles the game; Wei-Yin Chen followed his best outing last Friday with one of his worst. But, Jones’ poor defense has been glaring in the season’s first month.

He’s been charged with only one error, when he dropped a fly ball in deep center field on a brutally cold and windy night in Yankee Stadium. Three runs scored, and the Orioles lost.

Jones lost a fly ball in the sun at home, but it was scored as a double, two runs came in, and the Orioles lost by one.

In Wednesday’s game, he didn’t charge a line drive in the first inning, and in the second, Jesus Montero’s ball hit the heel of his glove and fell away. Three runs scored on the two plays, but the Orioles lost by five.

After the game, Jones gave reporters no excuses. Instead of hiding when he’s made a mistake in the field this year, Jones hasn’t hid from his responsibility. He accepts the blame, says he’s going to be better, that he knows he’s better and he’s going to work at it.

We’ve all heard the chatter. He plays too shallow. He’s more interested in blowing bubbles than catching fly balls, but he works with coach Wayne Kirby.

His indifferent play in the field hasn’t hurt his hitting. Jones had his roughest series of the season in Seattle. He was hitless in the first two games, the only time this season he’s done that in consecutive games, but on Wednesday night, he did have two hits.

Jones’ 39 hits lead the American League, but for now, fans will carp at his fielding. He drew a walk in Tuesday night’s game, just his third of the season. In spring training, he vowed to walk an additional time per week. He hasn’t even walked once a week.

Meanwhile, Manny Machado continues to hit. His 10-game hitting streak is the longest of any Orioles’ player under 21.

It’s on to Anaheim, and the Orioles will hope to come out of the four-game series with Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols and Mike Trout with at least a split. They had won four straight series, and are 4-3 on the season-long 11-game road trip.