New York Yankees utility man Garrett Jones has been in the starting lineup a majority of the Yankees games these past couple of weeks. Whether it be for Carlos Beltran or Mark Teixeira needing a day off, or Girardi just giving him a turn in the lineup durimg imterleague play, Jones is proving to be a useful pick up this off-season, and his slow start seemed to just be from not getting the same amount of playing time he received with the Marlins last season. In the game last night, after losing the first two against the Marlins in Miami, they came back home and won a tight one with Garrett Jones starting at first base. Reports came out that this was mainly due to Teix’ having a sore neck, but could this also be a rise in trust in Jones from skipper Joe Girardi?
Before last night, Jones’ batting average at home was .321, and he’s batting an overall is .238. On Tuesday’s game it was .247 (this is why overall batting averages aren’t much to look at for utility players), though it seems those two games in Miami weren’t great for anyone. The Yankees are trying to preserve Teix’ the best they can, and while Joe Girardi has been scrutinized for a number of reasons this year, overworking players he doesn’t need to isn’t one of them. Unlike Brendan Ryan, the Yankees second utility player, Jones is able to play first base, and now that Alex Rodriguez is on full-time DH, there aren’t many options there to take some time off Teixeira. Of course, the one night Girardi doesn’t go to Teix’ in a late game situation, Jones had to step up to show he can be useful in one to two run games, and that Girardi made the right decision, whether Teix was a little sore or not. In the top of the eighth, with runners on the corners and one out, Jones got a slow bouncer which he had to take quick steps to get to. Running from third was Adeiny Hechavarria, the Marlins speedy shortstop. While Jones throw was a tad bit high, after a four minute review, Hechavarria was called out, and Dellin Betances went on to get his five out save.
With two options at first, the trust in Jones to back up Teixeira must be there all year, and Girardi will be keeping a close eye on it. The Yankees have six games left at home on this stand, look for Jones to keep that trust going as he gives Teixeira or Beltran the rest they need.
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