The last time that Adam Jones was the leadoff batter for the Orioles, Dave Trembley was the manager. Brad Bergesen was the starting pitcher, Alfredo Simon got the save, and the first baseman on that particular evening was Rhyne Hughes. If it seems like only yesterday, well, it was more than six years ago now.
Jones is leading off tonight. Why is Jones leading off? It is a challenge to imagine that manager Buck Showalter has seen Jones' recent performance and thought that he looks like an ideal leadoff hitter. Perhaps it's an effort to get him to adjust his approach somewhat, if he believes Jones might have better habits when presented with the expectations of a leadoff hitter.
Not that any history against a particular pitcher is a great reason to adjust a lineup, but even if it was, that's not the answer here. Jones has only faced tonight's Indians starter, Trevor Bauer, six times in his career, and he is hitless in those six at-bats.
The why of it is mere speculation. The reality is that's what's up tonight. It'll certainly be different.
In less weird and more positive news, Hyun Soo Kim gets himself another start in the series opener against Cleveland - and not only that, but he'll be batting second in the lineup, right behind Jones.
Here's how things line up tonight behind starter Mike Wright:
1. Adam Jones - CF
2. Hyun Soo Kim - LF
3. Manny Machado - SS
4. Chris Davis - 1B
5. Mark Trumbo - DH
6. Nolan Reimold - RF
7. Jonathan Schoop - 2B
8. Ryan Flaherty - 3B
9. Caleb Joseph - C
It'll be strange, but after a three-game series in which the Orioles set a new major league record for most strikeouts in such a series, maybe you just have to try to shake things up a bit on general principle.
Things can hardly go worse than they did in the Astros series. Well, unless the Orioles get no-hit or perfect gamed, but when would they ever let that happen to themselves? Don't answer that. I already know.
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