Geoff Jones Q&A

As a pitcher in Class AA ball for the fourth straight season a year ago, Geoff Jones had seen all that level had to offer. The left-hander as such put together his finest stint to date, posting a 1.02 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 44-plus innings. Jones is now trying to establish the same rhythm and confidence at the Triple-A level that he had then.

You'd seemingly been "stuck" at Double-A for quite a while until getting called up here last year. How important was it to be here in Triple-A to start this season?

Geoff Jones: For me it was definitely important to start the year here and to stay here. I'm at a point in my career where this is where I need to be. I did well in Double-A last year so I felt like I earned a spot here.

This spring was your first big league camp experience. What did you make of it?

Geoff Jones: It was definitely a different experience. Although I've been around the game for quite a while, it's a different world up there. It was fun to experience and its somewhere that I'd love to get back to. Once you get a little taste of what it's like, you know it's the place to be.

Do you see yourself as a kind of wild card in the mix of left-handers competing for a chance to earn your way onto the 25-man roster?

Geoff Jones: I don't know. All you can really do is go pitch when they give you the ball and in my career I've always tried to stay inside myself and not worry about any of that stuff. (Pitching in the big leagues) is the ultimate goal for anybody that's here, and I've been working toward it a long time and am excited to get an opportunity. But you have to pitch your way into those opportunities. I've started off a little slow here and need to keep chipping away and getting my work in; get outs and throw strikes.

Can you tell that you've done that in the past couple of weeks as opposed to your first two or three appearances?

Geoff Jones: Yeah, I'm starting to get into a rhythm, which is important when you're coming out of the bullpen. You have to come out and establish that rhythm right away, especially when you're coming in to face a lefty. You don't have time to work things out; you have to come in and be sharp right away.

Pitch-wise, what are you working on?

Geoff Jones: Right now, all I'm working on is getting ahead. I'm still throwing my sinker and my slider. I guess if I'm working on anything (particular) it's my changeup to righties. I'm starting to use that a little more and [Iowa catcher] Koyie (Hill) has been calling that a little more. We're getting some success with it when I make the pitch. Eventually that's something I'll have to use to keep those right-handers honest.

You weren't always a sidearm pitcher, were you?

Geoff Jones: No, I started doing that in 2002 in the Midwest League when I was with the Padres. I was just kind of uncomfortable over the top and they started moving me down a little. I fell into it and had some success so I've stayed there.

You've said that you don't think about what all is going on at the level ahead of you. What do you think about at this level?

Geoff Jones: Well my first outing was pretty rough, so there was a lot of negative stuff in my head. I've been trying to focus on the good pitches that I've made and remember the way I felt, and the way I felt last year in Double-A with the rhythm and the confidence that I had. I've tried to take that to this level.

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