A pitcher within the Texas Rangers organization suffered a stunning setback in what has to be considered the freakiest quarantine injury in sports after tripping on one of his son’s toys earlier this week. James Jones is expected to miss the entire Major League Baseball 2020 season after suffering a torn patella tendon in his right knee.
The news was reported by MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan via social media on Friday. Jones suffered the injury Monday and had season-ending surgery two days later.
“Rangers LHP James Jones tore the patella tendon in his right knee on Monday,” Sullivan said via Twitter. “Injury occurred when he tripped on one of his son’s toys and fell. He had surgery on Wednesday and is expected to be sidelined until spring training 2021.”
Jones Seemed Close to Securing Roster Spot for 2020
Suffering such a devastating injury while at home during the COVID-19 outbreak is bad enough, but knowing Jones seemed to be on his way to securing a roster spot for the Rangers this year makes matters even worse.
Last season, Jones earned the nod as the 2019 True Ranger Award for being the minor league player who best represented the “core values” of the Texas Rangers organization “both on and off the field.”
But Jones was also producing on the mound.
The left-handed reliever posted a 2.67 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 71 strikeouts in 64 innings in Double-A and Triple-A action last year. The 31-year-old New York-native was expected to compete for a roster spot this upcoming season after successfully transitioning from outfielder to relief pitcher over the last few seasons.
Jones was off to a hot start this year. He had allowed only one run through 4.2 innings of work (1.93 ERA) across four spring outings to start his latest campaign. His solid work there, alongside the premium MLB clubs usually place on having a bevy of lefties in the bullpen, gave him a solid shot to make the team in 2020.
Jones Also Missed 2020 Season
Jones was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round of the 2009 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut with the same club in 2014 before being traded to the Rangers as part of a six-player deal in November 2015.
But Jones sat out the entire 2016 season after Tommy John surgery.
Now, it appears Jones will miss another full season because he slipped on a toy while self-quarantining.
That’s a brutal way to lose what appeared to be a promising upcoming season.