MINNEAPOLIS – A cortisone injection in his right ring finger got Chipper Jones through nearly a week of games, but he was scratched from the lineup an hour before Saturday night’s game.
Swelling around the knuckle caused Jones to miss five consecutive starts through Monday. He got an injection May 7 and returned to the lineup Tuesday, but said on Friday that the finger still hurt when he failed to hit a ball on the “sweet spot.”
During Friday’s loss to Minnesota, Jones went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and flied out to the warning track in the deepest part of Target Field.
He hit a couple of long home runs during early batting practice Friday. That display, coupled with two fly-outs to the wall in recent days had Cox optimistic about Jones possibly starting to heat up at the plate soon
The 38-year-old switch-hitter is batting just .228 with three home runs, including one homer in 144 at-bats over his past 44 games.
“I’m just really struggling again with my mechanics,” Jones said Friday. “I just can’t get right [batting] left-handed, and now I’m struggling to find it right-handed. It’s snowballing.”
In 38 games since April 24, he’s hit .203 with 17 RBI and a .276 slugging percentage.
Infante could miss 3-5 days
Utility infielder Omar Infante walked with a severe limp and pain in his right foot Saturday, after fouling a ball off the top of it during Friday’s game.
An exam showed no fracture and he was listed as day-to-day. Infante said it might be three to five days before he could return, but he wasn’t sure.
“It’s sore,” he said, pointing to a spot on top of his heavily wrapped foot. “Last night it felt bad, a lot of pain. No pain today [except] when I walk. I can’t walk without pain.”