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Snake Bytes 3/12: Decisions to be Made

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With a little over two weeks left until the regular season begins, the fringe of the Opening Day roster is still to be determined.

MLB: Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks News

[Camden Chat] A Birdland Salute to Adam Jones - Some of you may not realize that what Paul Goldschmidt meant to the fanbase of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Adam Jones was the equivalent on the Baltimore Orioles. The two also just so happened to be teammates on team USA during the 2017 World Baseball Classic. I took a stroll over to the Orioles’ SB Nation site, Camden Chat, for some perspective on the impact of his loss and was not surprised by what I found. Much like none of the writers over at Viva El Birdos can quite appreciate Goldy the way that we can here, it’s also difficult for us to measure the value of Jones the way that the Orioles fanbase can. He was that monumental of a player for them. One of the commenters linked an 8th inning at bat from Jones when the Orioles were locked in a division race with the New York Yankees in 2012. It’s well worth a watch. Jones quickly falls behind 0-2, then David Robertson uncorks a breaking ball near his head, and on the very next pitch Jones breaks a 6-6 tie in the eighth inning with a leadoff solo home run to left field. Truly special.

[D’backs.com] Jones to get plenty of playing time in Arizona - How Jones is utilized is of particular importance. The Diamondbacks have done well with defensive positioning under this front office, and hopefully that strength can counteract some of Jones’ defensive decline. It appears that the team still seems prepared to give Ketel Marte some time in center when the regular season begins. Jones can also provide a day off for David Peralta against a difficult left handed starting pitcher.

“We see [Jones] playing quite a bit,” general manager Mike Hazen. “I think he’s going to play all three outfield spots for us. He obviously is a really good hitter, makes a lot of contact, has power. When we broke it down, we felt like given the days off we would give guys, in and around our team, there was a large chunk of at-bats that were going to be divided out over the course of the season. We felt like adding Adam would really help us take a decent portion of those.”

[AZ Central] Adam Jones adds depth, versatility to Arizona Diamondbacks’ roster -

“We’re just excited to add [Jones] — the quality person, teammate, leader,” Hazen said. “We feel like he’s going to fit great in our clubhouse. He has a pedigree of winning — has been in winning environments almost his entire career — and that matters to us in what we’re trying to accomplish.”

[The Athletic] Rosenthal: An intriguing option for Kimbrel; Greinke’s Hall candidacy; Mets’ brewing position battles; more notes - Two D’backs related topics to unpack in this piece. Ken Rosenthal comments on Jones’ free agency journey and Zack Greinke’s case for the Hall of Fame. If Arizona hangs on to Greinke for the remainder of his contract, there is a chance that he stamps his resume for Cooperstown under our watch.

Around the League

[MLB.com] Goldy on being traded to Cards - BRB. Just going to go bash my head into a wall.

[CBS Sports] Miguel Cabrera pulls off hidden-ball trick with smooth pump fake in spring training game - Time inevitably catches up with all MLB players, but the best can rely on their experience as their athletic ability declines. Watch Miguel Cabrera make Ehire Adrianza look absolutely foolish with the most exciting defensive play in baseball, the hidden ball trick.

[Sporting News] Are baseball players happy? A personal memory of Marvin Miller - In 1982, Thomas Hauser and Bill Hoffman sent a questionnaire to members of the MLBPA seeking to determine if baseball players were happy. The responses to the questions are still relevant today. Now more than ever, the dominant baseball conversation attempts to analyze and quantify everything a baseball player does. It can become all too easy to forget that there is an actual person behind those numbers. Perhaps we should applaud Adam Jones for more than his ability on the field.

Questions about fans elicited a range of responses. One question we asked was, “Do you feel that the fans understand and fully appreciate your skills?”

“The true fans understand,” one player responded. But other players answered ”no” followed by comments such as, “They don’t realize how complicated and demanding the job is. The game looks too easy from the stands . . . They don’t know what it takes to be a player. They think it’s easy because they’ve seen it been made to look easy by great players.”