A few odds and ends..
*I mentioned Adam Jones this morning on 105.7, and wanted to pass along what manager Buck Showalter had to say about Jones, who has been really impressive –offensively and defensively — the last few games.
“I don’t think anybody has played harder since Day One of spring training than Adam Jones,” Showalter said. “I am sure you all are watching, he has brought a great level of effort since Day One of spring training.”
Jones legged out a two-out infield hit on Tuesday that really started the offense in the 11-0 rout. He had another great at-bat –resulting in two-RBI double in last night’s win. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Showalter also raved about Jones’ effort and the ease in which he scored on Matt Wieters’ double that followed in Tuesday’s game.
“You’ll see a lot of people, because they are running on the pitch, just casually start running to second base… He took off like he was trying to steal second base. And he scored standing up,” Showalter said. “I cannot tell you how many people in the major leagues that do not score from first base on that ball as quick as it got off the wall. And he made it easily.”
Jones also made a great catch to end the game, going back on Denard Span’s deep fly ball to secure the win and give closer Kevin Gregg his second save in three opportunities. The 25-year-old Jones has a six-game hitting streak entering tonight’s game.
*Zach Britton’s final line last night wasn’t that impressive. But any shred of doubt about the young lefty’s character was removed in a brief between-innings exchange in the tunnel of the home dugout, where Showalter found Britton — one of several Orioles dealing with an upper respiratory illness, bent over with his hands on his knees, wheezing and hacking.
The 23-year-old Britton, who has been under the weather for the last few days, assured his manager that he was fine. Than he went on to gut out six innings against the Twins, an 88-pitch outing shortened because Showalter wanted to be cautious with Britton, who clearly wasn’t 100 percent.
“When your bad nights are six innings and three runs, that’s not too bad,” Wieters remarked afterward.
*Top prospect Manny Machado has been getting some press for his hot start at Delmarva, but 19-year-old infielder Jonathan Schoop has also been impressive. Schoop has an eight-game hitting streak and is batting .395 with two homers and nine RBIS over his last 10 games. He’s been playing third base since Machado is considered the organization’s shortstop of the future. Not a bad left side of the infield for the Shorebirds.