Jones atop the order

Knowing that manager Dave Trembley usually despises lineup questions, I eased into one this afternoon concerning Adam Jones.

Actually, it was the second question he fielded after we received an update on reliever Alfredo Simon's availability. But I did preface it by saying, "I know you hate lineup questions..."

Well, here it comes.

Why is Jones still batting first while mired in a slump that's lowered his average to .211 and raised his blood pressure?

"I think he is our best option right now," Trembley said. "It's very difficult to replace (Brian) Roberts. You don't replace Roberts. I think you try and fit somebody in there. I've tried some other people, but I'm going to stick with Jones for a while."

Following a strikeout that ended the sixth inning last night, Jones immediately slammed his bat and helmet at home plate and marched to center field in his most visible display of anger to date.

"I talked to Jones yesterday before he came out," Trembley said. "It's not so much that the pitchers are getting him out. He's getting himself out. He's chasing pitches out of the strike zone and he's expanding his strike zone, especially with two strikes.

"I think he needs to be a lot more selective. I think he could work the count more, he could base-hit bunt once a game. He knows he's going to get a steady dose of breaking balls, especially with two strikes, but I'm confident that he'll handle it as best he can."

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