Jones gets big league shot with Dodgers
Journeyman slugger recalled, strikes out in first at-bat
LOS ANGELES -- For 31-year-old journeyman Mitch Jones, the wait was finally over as he made his first Major League appearance on Tuesday after spending 10 years in the Minors and two in Japan.
Jones made his Major League debut against the A's as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning of the Dodgers' 5-4 10-inning win but struck out swinging on a 3-2 changeup in the dirt from Oakland reliever Michael Wuertz.The Dodgers purchased Jones' contract from Triple-A Albuquerque before the game after they optioned Blake DeWitt and Jamie Hoffmann to Albuquerque on Sunday and called up catcher A.J. Ellis soon after. The Dodgers moved pitcher Jason Schmidt to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Jones on the 40-man roster. For Jones, it wasn't his first experience with a Major League club. He was called up by the Yankees and then-manager Joe Torre in 2006 for just one game but didn't see any action. Jones didn't even get to take batting practice as it was rained out before the Yankees played the Mets at Shea Stadium. Jones then received the bad news the next day that he'd be heading back down to Triple-A Columbus. "I was there for the ballgame and active, but that was about it," Jones said Tuesday. "So it was tough. I always wondered if I'd be back. I didn't want that to be only memory." Jones did everything he could this season to get the callup. He slugged four home runs in Spring Training in just 36-at bats and had 21 home runs with Albuquerque this season. "He works hard and he's improved his play in the outfield," Torre said. "He's a threat at the plate. It's not easy to hit home runs, but he has that threat." Jones, who was batting .292 with 50 RBIs in 50 games with the Isotopes, has been hot lately, as he had five home runs in his past seven games. "I felt like I was swinging it good as of late, but it was a slower start than I would've liked," Jones said. "The beginning just felt like power stuff, but I settled in a little bit." Jones, who hails from Orem, Utah, had his family in attendance to see his first Major League at-bat.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.