Random takes on Jones, Britton and more

*I am pretty sure this is not necessarily true, but the impression out there seems to be that Adam Jones is running the show and not the other way around.

We read and hear things like "the O's met with Adam and asked him to play deeper in the field. They asked him to charge the ball more often."

First of all you would hope Jones is taking these "suggestions" to heart, because he doesn't want to become known as the first Gold Glove winner to be considered completely mediocre on defense the very next year.

He needs to take pride in his defense. We are told he works hard at it, now it's time to see the fruits of that labor.

And in fact, if the coaches are "asking" him to play deeper, maybe it's time for another approach.

Why not just say "hey, Adam, we have this kid Matt Angle at Triple-A. You may not know him, but he's really good on defense. I bet if we call him up, he'd play anywhere in the outfield we tell him to, don't you think?"

*Two years ago, Zach Britton pitched 147 innings at Delmarva and last year he threw 140 at Frederick. So the natural progression for a young pitcher means he'd probably only be allowed to throw 160-170 this year.

He has 93 now so that tells me he has about 70 left for this season. That is 10 or 12 starts or so. The question is where should Britton make those starts?

It appears the club is at least open to some of those coming in Baltimore. Right now there is not a rotation spot open for him, but that could change.

Since he likely won't have any innings left for a September callup, I'm in favor of seeing Britton in Baltimore, say, after he pitches in the Futures Game at the All-Star break.

*He's dealt with several injuries in his career and probably has been forgotten by some fans and media, but the O's brass is noticing Jim Hoey's pitching at Double-A Bowie.

He is 2-0, 2.63 on the year and, in nine games in June, worked to an ERA of 1.35 with 18 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings. That big-time velocity he once had has reportedly returned. The O's would love to see him develop a real quality secondary pitch or two and he could work his way back to Baltimore yet.

*In his last six starts vs. the Orioles since the start of last season, Jon Lester, who will face them tonight, has an ERA of 1.14 against them.

He is 11-0, 2.06 in 14 career starts vs. Baltimore.

I know he is good, but he's not Bob Gibson or Roger Clemens. I don't have to hit against him, but it would sure seem like one night the O's would get to him. Maybe tonight will be that night.

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