A week after being introduced, Adam Jones makes D-backs spring debut
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It was exactly a week prior to Adam Jones’ Cactus League debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks that he was introduced as a member of the team after signing a one-year deal.
Jones told the media then that he had been staying in game-ready shape and was expecting to play in some spring training action for the D-backs, but saying and doing are two different things.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows Jones’ track record that he’s already playing for Arizona with plenty of time to spare before Opening Day.
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said on March 12 they had a plan in mind for Jones’ mid-spring arrival. He smashed that, per the skipper.
“He has never ever missed a checkpoint,” Lovullo said before Tuesday’s game against the San Diego Padres. “We’ve asked him to do certain things and he’s been spot-on. In fact, we had to hold him back a little bit in that process we drew up.
“But for him to come in as ready as he was and get ready in about a week’s time to playing games is pretty impressive.”
In the lead-off spot, Jones was 0-for-3 on Tuesday. Much more importantly, he was hit a handful of balls to center field to get his legs loose and get himself acclimated.
That was something he said he was eager to do when he joined the D-backs and he got at it right away.
“The very first ball comes my way and I’m just trying so hard to see it and not drop it,” he said.
“Good to be out there and get the ball hit to you.”
Lovullo labeled Jones’ presence on the field having an “ease” to it.
“Every part of his game he plays very comfortably so it was good to see him out there,” Lovullo said.
Jones described being back out on the field as “amazing.”
“It was good just to get back on the saddle with the fellas,” he said.
In the bottom of the fourth in his third and final at-bat, Jones flew out to deep left, just getting under a pitch. When he was asked about nearly hitting a homer, Jones at first didn’t even realize what was being asked. That speaks to what he’s focused on in the spring and the professionalism he brings.
“Don’t need to hit home runs right now,” he said. “Save ’em for the season. Just glad to put a good swing on some pitches and see some pitches in a big league game. The guys have been very supportive so it’s just been fun.”
In Jones’ process with the D-backs that has gone on for 9-10 days, it’s another checkmark and the most crucial one that was left for him until the good stuff Opening Day and the regular season brings.
Lovullo said from this point on, Jones will be treated like any other spring training player.
“It’s go time now,” Jones said.