By staff writers Jeff Giuliani and Ben Goldstein
James Jones is hoping to use his time back with the Tacoma Rainiers to improve his game for a possible return to the Seattle Mariners.
Jones was optioned to Tacoma on Wednesday after the Mariners called up outfielder Franklin Gutierrez.
He cited shortening his swing and working on bunting as two things he will be working on with the Rainiers. For the latter, he pointed to Shawn O’Malley, who was born in Richland, as the team’s best bunter and someone whose brain he wanted to pick.
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“He has a lot of good pointers,” he said. “I’m just trying to be a sponge out there.”
As for a return to Seattle, Jones seemed hopeful but wants to focus on the Rainiers for the time being.
“I’m not in control of that,” he said. “I’m not really worried about it. I’m just worried about improving as a player.”
Yesterday in his first game back, Jones went 1 for 4 with a double and showed his speed when he reached third after an error by the Reno Aces right fielder Peter O’Brien. The Rainiers lost 6-4.
“I felt fine,” he said. “Definitely wanted to get the win, but I felt fine for the most part.”