Jones' role with Marlins unclear

Jones' role with Marlins unclear

MIAMI -- Nobody knows yet how newly acquired outfielder Jacque Jones will fit in with the Marlins.

But one thing's for sure.

"As long as he's got a uniform, he's playing," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Jones, who was designated for assignment by the Tigers on May 5 and cut on May 13, was signed by the Marlins on Monday and in all likelihood will join the team by the end of this week.

Gonzalez met briefly with Jones in Jupiter, Fla., during his team's off-day on Monday and told Jones to get as many at-bats as possible because, "He hasn't played in like 10 or 12 days."

"It was a good acquisition," Gonzalez said. "He can help us in all three outfield positions, and he's a guy that could be very valuable off the bench, too.

"Right now there are no plans. We can use him anywhere."

Jones is expected to platoon with Cody Ross in center field and, likely, Alfredo Amezaga, as well. Gonzalez said Amezaga is a very valuable commodity as a utility player because, "He covers you everywhere." But Gonzalez hasn't thought about what he would do with his 5-foot-10 switch-hitter when another outfielder comes on board.

"I would play [Amezaga] anywhere," Gonzalez said. "He's been so valuable coming off the bench at times, or you can -- let's say for example we go to the American League -- we can play the guy in every position. You can insert him anywhere you want defensively."

Jones, a 5-foot-10 left-handed batter, is a career .278 hitter in 10 Major League seasons -- including his 24-game stint with the Tigers this year where he hit just .165. Jones has played 243 out of his 1,163 games in center field.

More importantly, with current Marlins leadoff hitters Amezaga and Ross hitting a combined .209 this season, Jones has experience as a table setter, too.

"He can lead off, bat second, seventh, eighth. Who knows? Maybe I'll even hit him ninth and have the pitcher hit eighth," Gonzalez joked. "You want production from all your position players."

Alden Gonzalez is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.