Thursday, February 28, 2008

Andruw Jones Is Twice the Player He Used To Be

ShysterBall reader Alan Maguire focuses my attention on a large, mayonnaise-covered tidbit buried in today's article about Andruw Jones adjusting to life away from the Braves:

He raised some eyebrows reporting to camp at 240 pounds. But he assured new manager Joe Torre he'll lose it as the season progresses.
240?! Jones is officially listed at 210. We know those are always based on long-ago weights, but 240 is still a buttload of pounds more than Andruw was sporting in Atlanta.

The only way this can be good news for the Dodgers is if he gained that weight by eating Juan Pierre.


Justin said...

From the LA Times this morning:

"A five-time All-Star, Jones hit 51 home runs in 2005 and 41 a year later. Last season, his total plunged to 26 and he hit .222.

A few explanations exist for what happened, the first being that Jones battled elbow problems. Jones claims the injury didn't affect him, blaming his decreased output on a batting stance that he said was too wide and a body that he said was too slim.

Jones said he weighed in at 241 for his physical exam, 16 pounds heavier than he did last season with the Braves.

"It's a little bit of a concern," Torre said of the added weight.

Jones said that the strength he felt he lost because of the lost weight is back and that his stance is where it should be. He said he wouldn't panic if he didn't start hitting immediately.

"In the spring, you slowly make your adjustments," he said."

So, Jones thinks he's a better player as a fat-ass?

Shyster said...

That's absolutely incredible to me. He hit 50 home runs a couple of years ago while weighing less than he did LAST season. Indeed, much of his trouble, both with health and mechanics, is based on those monster cuts he's been taking.

The one saving grace you have with Andruw -- the one thing that allows you to carry .222 and moderate power -- is the fact that even if he's not 1998 Andruw anymore, he can still shag flies better than almost anyone in center. Sixteen pounds up (and the lack of cardio conditioning that implies) is going to kill him, especially in the big NL West parks.

I predict doom.

Justin Zeth said...

It may or may not adversely affect his hitting, but I'd be extremely concerned about it drastically decreasing his defensive value. If Andruw Jones isn't among the best defensive outfielders in the game, he's not going to come close to being worth his contract.

Having him report that out of shape has to be distressing for the Dodgers. Standard contract language, I believe, states the player's responsibility to keep himself in playing condition. Jones has clearly neglected that. And shrugging it off and saying "I'll lose it during the season"? He's dancing on the edge of breaching his contract, in my opinion.

Brian said...

The only way this can be good news for the Dodgers is if he gained that weight by eating Juan Pierre.



Mike said...

He took the anti-Miguel Cabrera route. Maybe he was sitting there eating a burger watching Cabrera as he worked out!

Pete said...

Maybe the plan is to keep gaining until he won't have to move to cover the entirety of centerfield (ala the 1000 lb goalie experiment).

Jason said...

who says big fat contracts lead to lazy, big fat players?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps part of that $18 mil/year is being paid in donuts?

Anonymous said...


AMzing nobody has commented that this tonnage and evident unconcern is from another Boras client. What happened to all of the Boras conditioning experts, etc?

Andy said...

Andruw Jones isn't up 16 pounds from last year, he's exactly where he was then as well. There's no way he was 225 with the Braves in 2007. As a Braves fan in ATL, I've watched him his whole career. The last 7 years or so he's always reported to Spring training too fat and said he'll lose it during the season. Well, you don't lose it trotting back to the dugout 3-4 times a game after a strikeout. I loved him defensively; I believe he was the greatest defensive center fielder I have ever seen play, but he's been the most frustrating offensive player as well. He has an incredible amount of talent, but he's wasted it with seemingly no discipline. He has NO idea of what he's doing at the plate anymore -- he seems to have no strategy for approaching an at-bat. And now, at 240+ I can definitely see where he's started to lose a step in the field. I also recently read where a reporter in LA challenged him to get on the scale and he actually weighed in at 248.