Work on swing paying off for Jones

Work on swing paying off for Jones

ST. LOUIS -- Among Garrett Jones' stated goals for the offseason, regaining control of his swing is at or near the top of the list. It appears, though, as if Jones is already receiving a reward for some of that work.

Jones said he will spend much of the winter repeating a short and sound swing that will better open up the opposite part of the field for the left-handed-hitting first baseman. That process began recently with hitting coach Don Long, with the first step being a downward shift in the placement of Jones' hands on the bat.

"My hands were getting real high, and I had some extra movement in there, which was causing my timing to be off," Jones said. "I've lowered my hands to try and be more direct to the ball. It's helping. I'm just trying to finish strong and end on a positive note."

Though the sample size is small, the adjustment seems to have helped so far. With his three-hit game on Tuesday, Jones entered Wednesday's game 10-for-27 with four doubles and nine RBIs in his past seven games. Encouraging, too, is the fact that Jones isn't exclusively pulling the ball, something he does often when in his offensive funks. Of those last 10 hits, only three have been to right field.

After batting .144 in August, Jones' batting average sits at a much more respectable .276 mark this month. With 21 home runs and 86 RBIs, Jones is poised to lead the team in both offensive categories at the end of the season.