Former major league reliever Doug Jones has passed away, according to an announcement from the Guardians. He was 64 years old.
A right-hander, Jones first broke into the majors in 1982 with the eventual American League champion Brewers. That was just a four-game cameo, though, and he didn’t make it back to the bigs until 1986 with the Indians. Despite not really get an extended big league look until his age-30 season, Jones emerged as a fixture in the bullpen by 1987. He worked 91 1/3 frames of 3.15 ERA ball that year before kicking off a three-year run of sub-2.60 ERA, 30+ save seasons.
Jones was selected to the All-Star game each year from 1988-90, garnering down ballot MVP support in two of those seasons. After some uncharacteristic struggles in 1991, he posted arguably his best ever season the following year. Jones worked 111 2/3 innings across 80 relief outings with the Astros in 1992, earning his fourth All-Star nod and his highest MVP finish (14th). He’d continue to be an effective bullpen workhorse deep into his 40’s, earning his fifth and final All-Star selection in 1994 and again appearing on MVP ballots in 1997 before retiring in 2000.
Jones twice led MLB in games finished, wrapping up 70 contests with the ’92 Astros and 73 games with the ’97 Brewers. He appeared in parts of sixteen major league seasons and worked 1128 1/3 innings of 3.30 ERA ball over 846 outings. Jones recorded 303 career saves and struck out 909 batters. His 129 saves with Cleveland ranks third in franchise history, and he ranks seventh in that category on Houston’s career leaderboard. Jones also pitched for the A’s, Pirates, Phillies, Cubs and Orioles over the course of his very impressive career. During his post-playing career, he served as a coach in the Rockies’ farm system.
MLBTR joins others around the game in sending our condolences to Jones’ family, friends, teammates and loved ones.