Yes, I know Todd Jones has a 31.50 ERA
As soon as the great J.R. Towles took Todd Jones deep for the sixth run of the fourth inning, I figured this was coming: A mailbag question arrived starting with the words, "Is it just me or is Todd Jones taking a beating this spring?"
He had a scoreless inning and a one-run inning in his previous two appearances this spring.
My point isn’t to defend Jones, but to defend this point in the spring. Pitchers who don’t have to worry about a roster spot usually go into outings to work on something specific, though whatever Jones was doing clearly wasn’t working Tuesday. Hitters, as Nate Robertson pointed, are in some cases doing the same thing. And games just don’t have a whole lot of intensity, though it would’ve been difficult telling that to the fan in front of the press box today who was yelling at the umpire on literally every pitch before he finally had his fun and went home. And breakout guys on the end of roster or simply non-roster invitees are sometimes doing their damage against Triple-A competition in the later innings, such as Wilkin Ramirez so far.
Once the games get to the middle of March, then there’s something to read. Denny Bautista’s solid spring will get more of a test. Robertson’s inside fastballs will start getting turned upon to some degree. Right now, we’re getting early impressions of who’s on who isn’t, but it’s a small sample with inconsistent criteria.