Jones named Most Valuable Oriole by media
Center fielder achieved numerous career highs at the plate
BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones was bestowed the 2011 Louis M. Hatter Most Valuable Oriole Award on Wednesday by members of the local media who cover the team on a regular basis.
"It's an honor," said Jones, who was recognized for his accomplishments in an on-field ceremony prior to Wednesday's season finale against the Boston Red Sox.
Entering the final game of the season, the 26-year-old has set new career highs in home runs (25), RBIs (83), doubles (26) and games played (150). He is tied for the team lead with 14 outfield assists, which leads all Major League center fielders. Jones' 400 total chances were the most by an American League outfielder.
"It was pretty good," Jones said, when asked to assess his season. "It's exciting that I'm getting better and better. That's what I set out last offseason to do, to have a better year than the previous year, and this offseason is going to be the same general concept. I'm just trying to get better."
Jones had a season-high nine-game hitting streak from Aug. 12-21, during which he batted .455. He also hit safely in eight straight from July 30-Aug. 6 (.364). He collected an RBI in seven straight games from June 18-25 and he hit .343 in May with a .390 on-base percentage and a .534 slugging percentage, including 11 multihit games.
"Adam would be the first to tell you, you can make a case for a lot of guys," manager Buck Showalter said. "But Jonsie's had a great year. [He] played Gold Glove center field as well as anybody can, and I think more than anything, he's had a very valuable effort here."
The Most Valuable Oriole Award is named in honor of the late Lou Hatter, a former sportswriter for The Baltimore Sun who covered the Orioles for 27 years. Shortstop J.J. Hardy and catcher Matt Wieters also received first-place votes to finish second and third, respectively, in the voting. Mark Reynolds, Jim Johnson, Robert Andino and Nick Markakis also received votes.
Infielder Chris Davis will have sports hernia surgery back home in Texas, and he said Wednesday that he's pushing for it to be Oct. 13. Davis said the issue started in July while with Texas, and he was treating it as a groin injury, which is pretty common with a sports hernia.
Outfielder Matt Angle will go to Instructional League in Sarasota, Fla., and work with infield coordinator Bobby Dickerson and Minor League coordinator Brian Graham on playing second base. Angle said he played the position some before, when he was much younger, but he's game for anything that makes him more enticing to the organization next spring.
What will the Orioles do with Jim Johnson? Manager Buck Showalter acknowledged that in a perfect world he'd like to send Johnson into the offseason with a better idea of his role for next year. But that won't be happening, and Johnson's future as either a starter or reliever will depend on what moves the teams makes -- or doesn't make -- this winter.
The Nolan Reimold experiment at first base is likely over. Showalter said Reimold will come to camp next spring trying to establish himself as the team's starting left fielder.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.