What do you get when you take an unsettled bullpen, a closer who kinda makes people nervous on a good day, and two craptacular spring outings? A recipe for Todd Jones hysteria.
Today Todd Jones turned in his second awful outing of the spring in what turned out to be a 9-7 Tigers win. Jones didn’t make it out of the 9th inning before surrendering 4 runs on 4 hits and a walk. Last week Jones was hammered for 6 runs in an inning of work.
Is there reason to be concerned? It’s hard to say sitting here in Michigan. Jason Beck noted after Jones’s first bad outing that it’s tough to gauge closers in the spring when they are coming into the 4th inning of games. Well today Jones came into the 9th inning of a game. I’m not sure the fact that he was facing minor leaguers makes the situation worse or better. On one hand he should dominate these kids. On the other hand that adrenaline rush that closers supposedly rely on probably wasn’t there either.
Beck blogged that Jones was working on locating his fastball today. He clearly wasn’t doing it well based on the results. But Beck also notes that Jones isn’t injured which is the most important thing. If there were reports coming out that Jones was velocity was down, or that he had no movement on his pitches I would definitely be more concerned. At this point though I’m willing to chalk his struggles up to “working on things.”