James Jones rejoins Mariners to take Weeks’ spot
Outfielder James Jones, who played 108 games for the Mariners last year as a rookie, was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Monday to fill the position player opening created by the weekend release of Rickie Weeks.
Jones, 26, hit .250 with a team-leading 27 stolen bases last year in 312 at-bats. He’s spent the first 10 weeks of this season in Tacoma, batting .264 with 15 stolen bases in 48 games.
Weeks was designated for assignment on Saturday, with the team initially bringing up reliever Danny Farquhar to bolster a bullpen that needed help after several short outings from starters. Farquhar was optioned back to Tacoma on Sunday after pitching in two games and Jones now takes his spot on the 25-man roster.
Jones, a fourth-round Draft pick out of Long Island University in 2009, had the second-most stolen bases of any rookie in the Majors last year behind Billy Hamilton of the Reds and his 96.4 percent success rate (27 of 28) was the second-highest mark for a rookie with 20-plus attempts since 1970 behind Quintin Berry of Detroit, who was 21-for-21 in 2012.
Jones started 72 games for Seattle last season, 69 in center, two in right and one in left, with 46 runs, nine doubles, five triples and nine RBIs.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder has six doubles, four triples, one home run and 13 RBIs with 29 runs this year in Tacoma and has been successful on 15-of-19 stolen base attempts.
Jones should provide a needed speed element for a Mariners squad that ranks 11th in the American League with 24 stolen bases this year and are last in stolen base percentage at 51 percent, having been thrown out 23 times.