|Mariners recall top prospect Adam Jones to jump start struggling offense|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 03 August 2007 17:14|
``Adam Jones is in the house,'' Mariners manager John McLaren announced Friday, before Jones started in left field for Raul Ibanez against the Boston Red Sox.
Then McLaren attempted to reassure his underperforming veterans, whom the Triple-A star could replace.
``Adam's not going to be an everyday player. We're going to use him where we see fit to play him,'' McLaren said of Seattle's top prospect. He refused to estimate how often Jones will play, but said it sometimes will be in center field to give Ichiro Suzuki a day as designated hitter.
Jones is the speedy, power-hitting star of Seattle's top affiliate in Tacoma. He was the prospect other teams tried to pry away from the Mariners before this week's trading deadline.
When asked before the game about Jones replacing him Friday, Ibanez initially said he didn't want to talk about anything that was not ``on-field stuff.''
Then the 35-year-old, who entered Friday 5-for-27 (.185) on the homestand and had gone 110 at-bats since his last homer, said he thought the issue was being blown out of proportion.
Jones, who turned 22 on Wednesday, hit .314 with 25 home runs and 84 RBIs in 101 games at Tucson.
He had never played left field until Friday. Jones took early fielding practice, judging balls hit by a coach off Safeco Field's left-field wall.
On his first play as a left fielder, the converted shortstop tentatively went back on a first-inning line drive hit by David Ortiz before catching it.
``I don't want to mess up the mold they have,'' Jones said. ``I'm just going to try and be a small piece in the puzzle, and contribute everything I can do. I'm not going to go out there and try and do too much.''
Right fielder Jose Guillen has already groused publicly about Jones' arrival disrupting the chemistry of a team that entered Friday 3 1/2 games out of first place.
When asked about Guillen's displeasure, Jones sounded wise beyond his years.
``I don't respond to anything like that,'' Jones said. ``He's a veteran guy. He's been around the league. I'm a rookie. I'm just going to come out here and try to play.''
McLaren said he has told Jones to ``be seen and not heard.''
The manager spent part of his day trying to appease Ibanez, Guillen and any other possibly upset veterans, some of whom didn't like that popular reserve Jason Ellison was designated for assignment to clear space for Jones. The Mariners have 10 days to trade or release Ellison, or send him outright to Tacoma.
McLaren, who took over July 2 after Mike Hargrove abruptly resigned, met with Ibanez individually and then the team collectively about Jones before batting practice. McLaren wouldn't divulge what he said to Ibanez during ``a nice conversation.'' He said he told the entire team that Jones is here to make the Mariners better during the pennant race.
``I feel like we have a better roster today than we did yesterday,'' McLaren said. ``We're just trying to upgrade the team.
``I'm not going to step on any toes. I don't want to play head games with anyone ... but I have an obligation to win.''