LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — After having a bad day with his surgically repaired knee on Thursday, Chipper Jones bounced back with an encouraging workout Friday that included his first sliding drill.
He passed that test without incident, though he said he slid only on his right side. He usually slides on his left, but didn’t want to push it this early, six months after surgery.
The 38-year-old third baseman won’t play in Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Jones said he might make his spring debut Sunday as the designated hitter in the Braves’ home opener, also against the Mets.
“I felt [bad] yesterday,” Jones said of Thursday’s workout. “I had a bunch of fluid in my knee yesterday. I was kind of worried about it, but it’s good today.”
He said if the fluid had remained on the knee Friday, he’d have had it drained and missed the workout.
Despite discomfort in the knee on two separate days, Jones has yet to miss any workouts during spring training.
Meanwhile, he’s made one notable concession to age: He’s using a 33-ounce bat this season, an ounce lighter than before.
“Sometimes you have to swallow your pride,” Jones said. “If you can’t get 34 ounces around on [fastballs coming at] 94 miles an hour, you’ve got to make an adjustment.”
His 33-ounce bat is still an ounce or two heavier than those used by most players today.