Adam Jones is making the adjustment to batting in the two hole this year.
Coming up in the minor leagues he was always a number three hitter; then last year with the Orioles he frequented the seventh and eighth spots in the lineup.
There's a lot more Jones has to consider if he's going to bat second. One person he has to be very aware of is Brian Roberts. As the leadoff hitter, the idea is Roberts is supposed to be on base when Jones comes up to bat.
Jones told me he asked Roberts what he wants him to do if he's up to bat and Roberts is on second base. Considering the fact that Roberts is a doubles machine, this will be a very frequent scenario.
Roberts told Jones that in that scenario, if he has a good jump, Jones needs to do everything possible to distract the catcher in order for him to steal. That usually means swing.
If Roberts doesn't get a good jump, then Jones needs to do everything possible to move him to third or even better get him home: that usually means hitting the ball to the opposite field power alleys.
Jones said he likes driving the ball to right center and in spring training was doing a better job of it. He also loves having an All-Star leadoff man hitting in front of him, giving him more opportunities to rack up the RBIs.
Another benefit of hitting in the two hole is that Jones will see better pitches. With Roberts on base, he'll see more fastballs, and with Nick Markakis hitting behind him, he definitely won't be pitched around.
By batting Jones second in the lineup this year, Dave Trembley has really put the twenty-three-year-old in a position to learn and succeed. Considering Jones has yet to prove his patience as a hitter, he is certainly heading in the right direction in a hurry.