Jones’ performance at the MLB level has been been up and down since his initial call-up from Triple-A Norfolk on August 27,
Although his defensive prowess looks exceptional, his plate execution is another story.
Through 17 games in the pros, Jonesis hitting .164 with 20 strikeouts on nine hits, resulting in only four runs, three RBI, and three doubles in his young career, which is why this slump is so alarming.
He told The Baltimore Sun that he isn’t overwhelmed by a difficult start with the Orioles, and he is not panicking because 17 games is not a career make.
He said, “I am getting more comfortable with every game I play, and I am doing things well. I am just going to continue to do that and not think as much about the negative things.”
This season alone, he averaged .246 with 37 RBI, 11 home runs, and 10 walks for the Norfolk Tides.
These numbers led to his promotion to the main roster.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde isn’t fazed by what he’s seen thus far as it is still early for the multi-talented 24-year-old.
Hyde said, “I think he’s had some good at-bats; You see some tools there, and now it is just getting acclimated to major league pitching as it is not easy up here when you haven’t had a ton of at-bats. It’s all there; it is just an adjustment period.”
With a little over 20 games remaining down the stretch, you can tell that both he and the organization are in lockstep.
Jones will continue to face more big-league pitching, which will help him as he continues to soak up game.
He’s confident that his struggles will become less frequent as he continues his career.
No one will remember the early missteps once he finds his groove. Baseball is the kind of sport that has no loyalty anyway. Slumps are to be expected.
The fans already know what he can do as they’ve seen the groundswell of emotion that led to the initial call-up.
Once Jones locks in, this minor slump will be forgotten as no one will care about past hitting woes if you’re raking in September.
Last impressions mean everything.
“Regardless of what happens, I just want to play my best and do so as well as I can for just my own personal satisfaction. I don’t necessarily have a set goal or number in mind on anything. Just putting together good at-bats and defense together and trying to set up my career.”
Bell hit 86 home runs and drove in 309 runs during his five years with the Pirates, and in the sixth inning of Friday night’s game he proved his comfort in the Pittsburgh batters box by hitting a solo home run to extend Washington’s lead to 3-1.
However that lead would not stand up for long: Pirates MLBbro Anthony Alford answered Bell’s bomb with a homer of his own to cut the deficit to one, then later on in the game, their young phenom Ke’Bryan Hayes sent folks home happy with the first walk off hit of his career.
During the weekend series Bell was 3-for-9 with five walks, two runs and that home run as his Nationals could only salvage one win out of the three games.
Bell finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2017 and was named as an All-Star for the Pirates in 2019. That year he hit .277 with career highs in home runs, average, OPS, slugging percentage, hits, doubles and runs.
Josh Bell has hit 25 HRs in a season for the 3rd time in his @MLB career.
That year was also Bell’s second time homering 25 or more times for the Pirates, and with him already passing that mark this season, he became just the second player in Major League history to hit 25 home runs for the Nationals/ Montreal Expos and the Pirates joining former first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Bell is one of the few pieces that stayed in Washington after their fire sale during the trade deadline. His year started off slow as he only hit .113 for the month of April and has been fighting to rise the average ever since.
“I feel good as of late,” said Bell to reporters before Friday night’s game. “I had a really rough start that I had to work my way out of. Thank God it wasn’t a 60-game season again. I kind of turned things around.”
He signed a one-year deal with the Nationals this offseason and is now batting .253 with 26 home runs, a .813 OPS and 81 RBI.
He has definitely earned himself a payday after this season whether he gets it in D.C. or with a new franchise.
Bell is now chasing the 30-homer mark during this final month of the season. Showing those numbers during contract negotiations can only help his cause.
This week he and his Nationals will take on the “Bahamian Blur” Jazz Chisholm Jr. and the Miami Marlins.
In an era that places emphasis on slugging percentage, exit velocity and several other metrics meant to enhance run production, there are many who question the importance of a high batting average.
Despite these recent naysayers, MLBbros like Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley and Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson continue to show the value of having a batting champion in the lineup.
On Friday, both Brantley and Anderson, along with fellow MLBbro Cedric Mullins, held three of the top five spots for batting average in the American League.
By Saturday it was a completely different story.
With less than 20 games to go, will any of the bros be able to catch Starling Marte for the batting crown?
Cedric Mullins has been killing all season in a Baltimore Orioles lineup that doesn’t afford him much protection. He’s on his way to a 30-30 season despite playing on a team void of superstar talent.
While winning the crown would be dope, this late season stretch represents more than a batting title for Anderson and Brantley.
Both of their teams are in first place and with each team’s magic number under 20, the only scoreboard watching necessary will involve each other.
The Tampa Bay Rays currently hold a 5-game lead in the American League, which means at this point the Astros and White Sox are battling for second.
The Astros are 5-2 against the White Sox this season, so in order to secure that second spot, the White Sox will need to make up some ground on Houston.
Unfortunately for Chicago, Anderson has been mostly unavailable in September. After racking up 10 hits, 5 RBI and hitting an impressive .323 over his last 7 games played, Anderson was placed on the IL with what has been described as hamstring soreness.
Anderson’s presence has been missed at the top of the lineup, as the team has struggled to score runs against quality opponents at times.
Over their last five games as of Saturday, the White Sox have hit just .250 (9-for-36) with runners in scoring position.
Even with his team struggling to score and his average sliding in the ranks, Anderson remains focused on the main goal; a deep run in October.
I can still remember the morning of September 11, 2001. Not visually…the only thing I can recall are the images I saw on television.
After 20 years, the lines begin to blur between real memories and those etched in my mind by the countless hours spent watching television that day, trying to comprehend what had happened and what was going to happen.
Prior to the pandemic, it was the only time in my life where I saw our country literally come to a stop.
No public gatherings. No airplane flights.
And, no sports.
Everything shut down.
I’m not a person who puts a lot of stock in sports being something that unites people, let me make that clear.
I love sports. I’ve made a career in sports, and maybe I’ve seen too much behind the curtain to view the games as anything other than entertainment.
But in the days that we waited to know when we could get back to whatever “normal” was then, we were united as a country.
United first through fear, but then through the strength that always seems to arise in people during moments of tragedy.
New York was the epicenter of that terrible day, along with Washington, D.C. and rural Pennsylvania.
In 2001, as I am now, I was a fan of the New York Yankees.
The Yankees had just finished a three-game series sweep of the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 9, and were rolling, having won 9 of 10.
They were right on the heels of the Seattle Mariners, who would set the all-time record for regular season wins that year, in pursuit of their fourth straight World Championship.
In any other season, the Yankees were “The Evil Empire,” but suddenly they were the avatar for an entire city, and a symbol for our country.
There were no “boos” raining down on them on the road. Instead, they were ambassadors for a city that was reeling and the baseball word showered them with love.
George Bush throwing the ball down the middle at Yankee Stadium 49 days after the 9/11 attacks will forever be one of the greatest first pitches in MLB history pic.twitter.com/1rtbxytOXX
This is a sign the Rays definitely wanted to see from their veteran pitcher. On the season, he has a 1-1 record with a 5.28 ERA through five games. The past two seasons have been a rollercoaster ride for the two-time All-Star and it was a good sign to see him secure his first win this year.
He may not have had his best performance on Saturday, but he still went out there and gave a professional effort.
Archer received a lot of run support that day from his teammates as the Rays went on to defeat the Twins 11-4. The 32-year-old went five innings giving up four runs on four hits. He did surrender two home runs but we’ll chalk that up to rust. He also struck out three and he threw a total of 78 pitches.
This was Archer’s fifth start of the season and the 78 pitches and five innings were season highs for the veteran.
“I want to provide length,” Archer told the Tampa Bay Times. “I think that’s one thing I can give this team, and quality length. My breaking ball wasn’t quite as good there towards the end. But throwing 78 pitches, completing five, it was huge going forward. We still have a lot of baseball left. And if I can provide length, it’s going to bode well for everybody.”
If Archer can provide length on the mound for the Rays going forward, that will be a huge plus for the team. The velocity is still there as he touched 95 a few times against the Twins.
Injuries haven’t been the only setback Archer has dealt. The former All-Star has had some family issues which has caused him to miss a majority of the season, but if he can continue to work his way back to a starter capable of going six or seven innings, the Rays would be that much more of a threat.
“It was great,” Archer said on his recent outing. “Obviously I walked more than I wanted to, but it just gave me confidence to go out there and push the pitch count to 78, which is the most pitches I’ve thrown in a long time. The team, we got a big win, and I took that next step in my pitch count/innings limitations also.”
This is the right time for Archer to build his confidence, especially going into the postseason. He will get the opportunity to make a few more starts before then. Rays brass will be watching his final few starts before the playoffs to see if he figures in their plans.
Archer will certainly be up for the challenge . Our MLBbro bro is slowly but surely getting back to his groove and if he can stay in his zone he’ll be a key piece for the Rays.
The Detroit Tigers optioned outfielder Daz Camron to the Toledo Mud Hens on August 29th ‘to get his swing going,’ the organization explains.
The team is currently looking for another arm down the stretch, and with the way Cameron‘s batting average continues to plummet, the decision came swiftly.
Tigers manager AJ Hinch told the Detroit Free Press:
“We will take at least a 10-day period to get Daz’s rhythm, timing, and get his swing going in the right direction.” Hinch added, “He needs to play every day, something he is not doing right now. Hopefully, at some point between now and the end of the season, he gets more time up in the big leagues here.”
A minor setback makes for a significant comeback as Cameron lifted a two-run dinger to left field in his first game back in the minors.
He finished the day 1-for-5 with two RBI and one home run.
Through 136 at-bats, the 24-year-old is hitting .279 in Toledo with 14 RBI, seven walks, and a couple of blasts.
The demotion seems to be working out as it is essential for Daz to get consistent at bats for his swing to take shape.
“There are days he comes with different hand placements, different rhythm, different timing; That is hard to do at this level,” said Hinch. When we’ve seen the electrifying skills, and I think he’s going to be back in short order, but consistency can only come with playing.”
Cameron was hitting .177 with 14 hits, 11 RBI, four bases on balls, and three home runs in 25 MLB games.
One of his homers came on Father’s Day with his MLB Dad Mike in the stands.
Injuries have continued to plague his illustrious career. Toe strains and elbow problems have kept the rookie out of a potentially All-Black outfield featuring fellow MLBbros “Real Deal” AkilBaddoo and Derek “Thrill” Hill.
But the kid is not bereft of talent as big-time players make big-time plays.
Daz did that against the Toronto Blue Jays when he connected on a two-out RBI double in extras to put the Tigers ahead on the day Miguel Cabrera joined the exclusive 500-home run club.
All indications point to Cameron making a jump back to the show between now and mid-September due to the 10-day eligibility stint a player must complete after an organization options them to the minor league.
It seems the team has this one right. Taking one step back will make for a triumphant return for Daz in the long run. He’s got the pedigree and the skills to play a long time in the league.