The question that I am sure is on the minds of a few: Why would you let Jeromy Burnitz go if you were just going to replace him with Jacque Jones?
Jones offensive stats are actually sort of inflated in 2005. Does anyone remember the way he started out the season? It certainly was not how the middle and end went.
The thing to remember with the month-by-month graph for Jones is that his platoon split may be adversely affecting him in some months more than others; the months where he faces more lefties (April excluded, where he hit lefties to the tune of .280/.345/.520) are most likely the ones with the worst mOPS figures. Thanks to David Pinto and the Day by Day Database though, we can see for certain.
The lesson as always: Jones is really useful when you completely eliminate southpaws from the equation. When you factor in his defense in right field, where he has had 7 and 12 Fielding Runs Above Average the past two seasons, he is excellent for the money spent. This was well known, but obviously not something that is practiced in the game itself. With Jones only making $3 million in 2006 (followed by $4 million and $5 million in 2007 and 2008) it is possible that the Cubs have decided that he will platoon. With who is the next question of course.
My #1 choice out of those available to play corner outfield and platoon with Jacque Jones? Eric Byrnes, who over the past three seasons has hit .298/.361/.524 against lefties in 460 at-bats. Combine that with Jones .280/.332/.474 line against righties during the same time period, the very good defense of both of them, the fact that you have a useful player on the bench every game of the season, and the fact that combined they most likely will not top $8 million, and you have yourselves quite the solution, and an answer to the initial question, why not Jeromy Burnitz?
Thanks to Dan Scotto for helping me out with this article this morning.