Andruw Jones aims to play five more years

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Everybody is understandably talking about Manny right now, but there was another piece of interesting news to come out of Chicago on Monday. Andruw Jones told Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he would like to play five more seasons.

“Everybody says he’s getting old or he’s losing it,” said the
33-year-old Jones. “There are things you have to work on and try to get
yourself more consistent. Hopefully when you get the opportunity to
play, you can get back on that roll. But I’m looking for another five
years, and if I play consistently, I should be where I want to be.”

It’s funny that he mentions consistency, because let’s compare his production over the past two seasons:

2009: .214/.323/.459 with 17 home runs, 43 RBI and a 782 OPS in 281 at-bats

2010: .215/.321/.474 with 18 home runs, 42 RBI and a 795 OPS in 251 at-bats (entering play Monday)

Whether you think he’s been good or bad, that’s pretty darn remarkable. Thankfully, looking at the patterns of his last two seasons, we know that if he gets off to a hot start again next April, it doesn’t mean “he’s back.” At this point, he’s merely a decent power bat who is still fairly capable in the outfield.

Jones, who signed a one-year, incentive-laden $500,000 contract with the White Sox last November, told Merkin that he would like to stay in Chicago next season. It’s worth noting that he enters play Monday with 406 career home runs, so staying in the American League is obviously his best bet if he hopes to have any shot at cracking 500 home runs. With the game increasingly shifting towards youth, however, it seems unlikely he’ll stick around long enough.  

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.