Jose Vidro dh
Jose Guillen rf
Raul Ibanez lf
Adrian Beltre 3b
Richie Sexson 1b
Kenji Johjima c
Jose Lopez 2b
Yuniesky Betancourt ss
Jarrod Washburn p
The lineups are out, and so is Adam Jones – out of the lineup, that is. Jose Guillen’s sore finger was better than expected, so he’s in right field, and Jones is back on the bench.
You’ve got to say this about John McLaren: He’s been consistent on this. Even in the afterglow of Jones’s breakout game Thursday in Baltimore, the manager was dropping hints, saying that he wasn’t going to force Jones into the lineup. It seemed like he wouldn’t have to, because Guillen’s finger was swollen and sore after being hit by a Daniel Cabrera fastball. Guillen’s a tough guy, though. He played for a month in 2003 with a broken bone in his hand and hit .455 in the Division Series for the A’s. He told McLaren he could play, and so McLaren put him in the lineup.
I asked McLaren if it was hard to not find a spot for Jones after his game in Baltimore. Here’s his answer:
“Yes and no. Like I said yesterday, we know what talent is there. I know what talent we have in the field with our veteran players. I don’t want to start playing games. We’re going to try to work him in there on occasion to give guys’ rests, and so on and so forth. But we’ve been playing well. I’m not going to start switching things up to get him in there.”
I said earlier that if Jones performs, he’ll get his playing time. I still believe that, but I’m genuinely surprised McLaren didn’t start Jones tonight, particularly with Guillen not 100 percent.
Here’s the rest of his quote:
“Adam knows his role. This is a good learning process for him. He asks questions all the time. We know what he’s all about. He’s going to go in one day and he’s never going to come out, let’s put it that way. I can’t tell you when that day’s going to be, but it’s going to happen.”
Now, about Horacio Ramirez. I asked McLaren if Ho-Ram would stay in the rotation. I’ll boil down his long-winded answer: Yes.
He said he was impressed with how Ramirez came back and struck out the side after giving up Tejada’s grand slam. He said he doesn’t believe Ho-Ram is that far off from a better showing.
“You know what? Take away a couple of pitches, and his outings have been pretty good,” McLaren said.
So there you have it. Sorry for the silence today, but I had a delayed flight out of Baltimore and got to Chicago late. As I mentioned in my first blog, I have to start concentrating on getting my Sunday stuff done, so I’m going to be scarce for awhile. The upshot is that you guys will have to keep the conversation moving forward.
One stern warning from the guest host: Please keep it civil, and whoever is impersonating posters, please stop. We’ve got a good thing going. Let’s not mess it up. Thanks.