Jones in danger of losing spot in lineup

Jones in danger of losing spot in lineup

NEW YORK -- After a scalding-hot start to the season, Pirates right fielder Garrett Jones has struggled mightily in the month of May, and manager Clint Hurdle said Tuesday he doesn't know how much longer he will keep him in the starting lineup.

"You want to get your lineup out that you feel can be the most effective," Hurdle said. "I think an effective bat from Garrett Jones would put our lineup in a much better place, but at the same time, there comes a point in time when you try to find a Plan B or another answer to spark some things for your offense as a whole."

Jones began the season by complementing a robust April slugging percentage of .500 with a .265 batting average and a .375 on-base percentage. But since May 3, he is slugging half that, .232, and batting .161 with a .266 on-base percentage.

Hurdle said he has worked with Jones on taking shorter swings to mitigate his recent habit of swinging under the ball and either popping it up or missing entirely. Still, he said sometimes all it takes is one good night at the plate to get a hitter back on track.

"I've been in that place where it just seems like I can't get a hit and then I throw a night out there," Hurdle said. "Then all of the sudden, you feel there's nobody you can't hit. The mind's a terrible thing to waste."