Marlins notebook

Miami Marlins’ Garrett Jones wants to produce on field, not on Twitter

 
 
 <span class="cutline_leadin">How tweet it is: </span>The Marlins’ Garrett Jones, right, gets a fist bump from Giancarlo Stanton after hitting a two-run home run against the Mets on Saturday.
How tweet it is: The Marlins’ Garrett Jones, right, gets a fist bump from Giancarlo Stanton after hitting a two-run home run against the Mets on Saturday.
David Goldman / AP

cspencer@MiamiHerald.com

The new first baseman for the Marlins believes he won’t be able to put up the same numbers as his predecessor.

And it probably won’t disappoint Marlins front office executives one bit.

Garrett Jones is not in Logan Morrison’s league when it comes to posting on Twitter, both in volume and in content.

Total lifetime tweets for Morrison: more than 14,700. Total lifetime tweets for Jones: 276.

“I don’t think I’m ever going to be as good as he was at Twitter,” Jones said of Morrison.

But Jones hopes he can deliver in a way Morrison didn’t — by avoiding injuries and remaining on the field, and by producing at the plate on a consistent basis.

Fed up with his occasionally offensive tweets and tired of waiting for the provocative and oft-injured Morrison to produce offensively, the Marlins traded the first baseman to Seattle in December, one day after signing Jones to a two-year contract.

In five seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Jones averaged 20 home runs and never spent one day on the disabled list.

Though Jones has struggled mightily against left-handed pitching, the Marlins have said they will give him every chance to prove himself against southpaws before considering a platoon with Jeff Baker.

The Marlins are batting Jones in the cleanup spot this spring in the hope he will provide protection for Giancarlo Stanton, who hits third. With pitchers trying to work around Stanton, Jones should see plenty to hit.

Following a Stanton double Saturday, Jones homered off the New York Mets’ . It was his second home run in as many days, and third of the spring.

And when Jones connects on one, even Stanton takes notice.

Jones became only the second player — and first member of the Pirates — to land a home run on the fly in the Allegheny River outside Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.

“Right time. Right pitch. Right spot,” Jones said of his blast off Cincinnati’s Jonathan Broxton last June.

Jones even managed to obtain the baseball.

“It’s nice and waterlogged,” he said.

It wasn’t the only home run of Jones’ that found water. He said he also splashed one into McCovey Cove at AT&T Park in San Francisco, as well as the swimming pool beyond the outfield wall at Arizona’s Chase Field.

In other words, they might want to clear the pool at The Clevelander at Marlins Park whenever Jones steps to the plate.

Jones said he is looking forward to participating in a baseball franchise revival with the Marlins like he experienced with the Pirates, who reached the playoffs last season after a 20-year drought.

“I wanted the opportunity to get a chance to play every day and the potential to be part of another team that turns things around,” Jones said of his reasons for signing with the Marlins.

Jones said he also hopes to ramp up his Twitter activity, though not to the level reached by Morrison. Nor does he intend to take on any topics that could be considered sensitive.

Morrison has already created a stir in Seattle with one homophobic tweet and another (”If I were to be Native American. Would I not get taxed? If this is true I’m so jelly!”) that generated some controversy.

Jones sticks with topics that tend to be more bland. Example: “Starbucks is still one of the best pre workout drinks out there.”

“It’s going to take me a lot of years to get up to that,” Jones said, laughing, of Morrison’s large tweet total. “I’m going going to try to tweet more this year and be entertaining. But I need to work at that. I’m new to it.”

Hand struggles

Brad Hand did not enhance his bid to land a spot in the starting rotation Saturday when he gave up five runs in a 10-2 loss to the New York Mets. Hand gave up a pair of home runs in the game and walked three in an outing that lasted four innings.

The Marlins also lost their other split-squad game, 6-5 in Viera, when the Washington Nationals’ Danny Espinosa homered off Chaz Roe in the ninth.

Injury updates

•  Rafael Furcal was to take part in base-running drills Saturday and could play in a minor-league game as early as Monday, depending on how his injured hamstring reacts.

•  Ed Lucas (hamstring) homered Friday in a minor-league game while being used as a designated hitter. Following a day off Saturday, he will make the trip to Lakeland on Sunday and play first against the Tigers.

•  Greg Dobbs (quad) went 1 for 4 with a walk in a minor-league game Saturday. Dobbs is expected to play Monday in a Grapefruit League game.

Coming up

•  Sunday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner at Detroit Tigers LHP Drew Smyly, 1:05 p.m., Lakeland.

•  Monday: Marlins (to be announced) vs. Washington Nationals (to be announced), 1:05 p.m., Jupiter.

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