The Brewers on Saturday released former first-round Draft pick Mike Jones, a right-handed pitcher lauded for a smooth delivery whose career was nonetheless derailed by arm injuries.
Jones, the 12th overall pick in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, was 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA in 19 games for Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville this season. The Brewers needed his roster spot for left-hander Sam Narron, who returned from attending the birth of a child.
“His performance was OK, we just have one too many guys right now,” assistant general manager Gord Ash said of Jones.
Jones received a $2.075 million signing bonus after the ’01 Draft but only pitched two healthy seasons. He was limited to 17 starts in 2004 before undergoing major shoulder surgery in 2004 followed by Tommy John elbow surgery in 2007.
Jones’ career exemplifies the hit-or-miss nature of top Draft picks. Jones followed 2000 top Brewers pick Dave Krynzel, who appeared in the Majors but never stuck, but Jones preceded two Brewers picks who did, in Prince Fielder (2002) and Rickie Weeks (2003).
“He’s hardworking,” Ash said of Jones. “He could have been a free agent a couple of times but signed back with us. It’s always tough [to part ways] from that point of view. It sounds like he wants to continue to play so we’ll see what happens.
“He would, at times, get into the low 90s [mph]. He just wasn’t able to be consistent in the strike zone.”