Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Keep it on the DL

Adam Jones could potentially have a lot of time for sleep if he is sent to the disabled list after injuring his foot with a foul ball.

Jones underwent a CT scan on Monday and the Orioles are still waiting for the results. However, it doesn't sound good.

As a precaution, the Orioles sent Brandon Fahey down to Norfolk and called up OF Lou Montanez from AA-Bowie to fill in for Jones if he does miss an extended period of time.

In case you didn't know, Montanez is not your average Keith Reed or Darnell McDonald warm body. He's currently leading the AA-level Eastern League in average (.335), home runs (26) and runs batted in (97).

They also call that the Triple Crown.

Montanez is a 26-year old career minor leaguer who's bounced around a bit before catching fire this year. He's been to the AAA level twice and has failed to impress there. Maybe the third time will be a charm, by skipping it all together.

However, Montanez will probably take a backseat to Jay Payton, who will play CF in Jones' absence. Dave Trembley loves them veterans, but hopefully GM Andy MacPhail will press Trembley to play Montanez more in order to find out if he has a future with this team.

Montanez was also chosen above 24 year-old prospect Nolan Reimold, who is repeating his second year in Bowie. Reimold has also put together a solid season, with a .286/18/59/.854 stat line. But the Orioles have proven time and time again that they are willing to take their time with their #1A prospects, and this pretty much cements that theory.

As for Jones, it's a shame if he misses an extended period of time because he caught fire during the last few months after a frustratingly slow start to the season. He also represents one of the few reasons to watch the Orioles as they finish another likely losing season. Without Jones, the Orioles become much less interesting.

However, Montanez's minor league success should be reason enough to keep watching, because if he impresses in the majors, he could potentially become a long-term part of the Orioles, whether it's a 4th or 5th outfielder, or batting 4th or 5th in the lineup.

At least the O's are keeping it interesting as they begin their late season slide toward September. Couldn't say that in the past.

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