Jones getting acclimated as bullpen assistant

Jones getting acclimated as bullpen assistant

Jones getting acclimated as bullpen assistant
CHICAGO -- In his first two weeks filling in as bullpen assistant for the Padres, Jimmy Jones had noticed a steep learning curve that caught him a little by surprise.

"It's a little more difficult than I thought," Jones said, "There's a little more work to do. A lot more prep work. That's been the biggest adjustment, figuring out what the pitchers do, what the hitters do on the other team."

"When you're doing your prep work, you've got to know those guys. So it's been a lot of reading and watching video."

On May 16, the Padres announced that Jones would be a bullpen assistant while bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds is away, continuing his fight with pancreatic cancer.

Jones is in his fourth season as a pitching coach in San Diego's organization. The Padres selected him third overall in the 1982 First-Year Player Draft, and he pitched in the Major Leagues for eight seasons.

Jones said that he's learned a lot from the coaching staff, specifically pitching coach Darren Balsley as well as bullpen catchers Justin Hatcher and Griffin Benedict.

"They all know the league well and they've been around," Jones said. "And they knew these pitchers. They've been a wealth of information for me."

Jones said the primary difference between coaching in San Antonio and being part of a big league staff essentially is the volume of data and video that's available and used prior to each game.

"Coming from Double-A, you don't have nearly as much data," he said.