Jones eyes Friday return to third base

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – After three consecutive games at designated hitter without any problems, Chipper Jones said he might be ready to test his surgically-repaired left knee in the field as early as Friday.

“End of the week,” he said.

Jones went 0-for-3 with three groundouts Tuesday against the Astros, but one of those outs was sharply hit. He’s 2-for-8 with an RBI and a walk, with solid singles in each of his first two games. But most importantly, he’s showing no lingering ill effects from the surgery.

“He really has been fine,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “One day in pitchers and catchers camp it bothered him a little bit, but other than that he’s been fine.”

Jones plans to take Wednesday off when the team travels to Fort Myers to play the Red Sox and then DH again Thursday against the Tigers. If all goes well, he said he could be in at third base on Friday, likely in the home game against Toronto. (The Braves have a split-squad game Friday in Viera against the Nationals as well.)

Jones tore his anterior cruciate ligament last Aug. 10 against the Astros after planting and throwing on a great play up the third base line. He’s fielded ground balls and thrown to first during workouts this spring but his biggest test will be doing it at game speed.

Highlights from Tuesday’s game

Braves relievers pitched seven scoreless innings behind Tommy Hanson in a 3-0 win over the Astros Tuesday. Eric O’Flaherty got three groundballs in a perfect third inning. Jonny Venters got three groundouts and pitched around a two-out walk in a scoreless fourth inning. The Braves also got a scoreless inning from Stephen Marek and two apiece from Michael Broadway and Jairo Asencio.

Jason Heyward roped three line drives while going 2-for-3, including a double off the top of the right center field wall.

“Shoot to get the ball to the top of the wall in this wind today?” Gonzalez said. “I would like to see where that ball would have landed with no wind. It might have gone over the scoreboard….

Joe Mather made a pair of good plays in his first game at third base for the Braves, including one on a ball up the line from Humberto Quintero. First baseman Freddie Freeman made a nice scoop to complete the play.

47 comments Add your comment

ramblingman

March 1st, 2011
5:09 pm

ramblingman

March 1st, 2011
5:10 pm

Woohoo…no negative comments yet. 100% positive for Chipper.

Go Braves

eric the elder

March 1st, 2011
6:33 pm

Whew! For a while there I thought the only Chipper talk was in the main blog. Now here it is again. Praise the Lord. I can’t get through the day without Chipper – - at least once, preferably twice.

Carroll, you and DOB and Schultz ought to get your hands on the spring training roster. You would be surprised how many other players are there. It might prompt you to write about someone other than Chipper.

Or maybe not.

Carroll Rogers

March 1st, 2011
6:52 pm

tomorrow is your day, Eric the Elder. Chipper is not on the trip. And I am. Don’t you worry.

Ron Hyatt

March 1st, 2011
6:52 pm

we can only hope the blowout occurs in ST, not in mid May, leaving the team scrambling. Plan B? we ain’t got no stinkin Plan B.

David O'Brien

March 1st, 2011
6:52 pm

eric the elder, regarding your 6:33 p.m. comment: Leave the news judgment to us. You have the choice whether or not to read every story/blog on the site. I’d advise you to skip the ones with Chipper or Jones in the headline. Because we’re certainly not going to stop writing them.

Ron Hyatt

March 1st, 2011
6:59 pm

ve have our marching orders about vot “news” to write.

eric the elder

March 1st, 2011
7:37 pm

DOB, I’ll make a deal with you. I will offer no opinions about your “news judgment,” and you resist offering me advice.

My post was meant to be mildly tongue-in-cheek, but I should have known that it would touch off one of your many hot buttons.

BayAreaBravesFan

March 1st, 2011
8:01 pm

Don’t peeve off the writers or we’ll have nothing to read about but the Yankees and BoSox on espn.com…

Vabravesfan

March 1st, 2011
8:15 pm

I like reading about Chipper. He has been my favorite Brave for a long time. Please continue to keep us updated.

Puma

March 1st, 2011
8:51 pm

DOB should see Ms. Rogers comments in re Mr. Elders comments and then take a chill pill

SoCalBrave

March 1st, 2011
9:04 pm

@eric the elder: I’m sure DOB also “meant to be mildly tongue-in-cheek” with his comment. FYI, only 2 out of the 10 blogs on the side list have the name chipper or jones in it.

Matt Chambers

March 1st, 2011
9:23 pm

Hi Guys
Appreciate your work and blogs. Was wondering how Conrad has done so far. I know DOB mentioned his first game but didn’t know how he had done sense. Really like guy, plays hard. Really want him on the roster so he can have different ending this Oct. Also do you get a sense from the team that he will make the club when they head to D.C on March 31.

Wiffle Waffle

March 1st, 2011
9:46 pm

eric the elder@6:33 pm

Whew! For a while there I thought the only Chipper talk was in the main blog. Now here it is again. Praise the Lord. I can’t get through the day without Chipper – – at least once, preferably twice.

Carroll, you and DOB and Schultz ought to get your hands on the spring training roster. You would be surprised how many other players are there. It might prompt you to write about someone other than Chipper.

Or maybe not.

eric the elder@
7:37 pm

DOB, I’ll make a deal with you. I will offer no opinions about your “news judgment,” and you resist offering me advice.

Let’s see – you suggest what they should (not) write about, and now you want to make a deal..

Right…

granapapeckinpah

March 1st, 2011
9:54 pm

cute. the ajc braves bloggers think they make “news decisions” now. from everything ive read on this site it seems more like the braves organization decides, and the bloggers on this site serve as mouthpiece.

eric the elder

March 1st, 2011
10:27 pm

Wiffle, you quote two of my posts in their entirety, and your response is one sentence? That’s all you have?

Granapap, I do NOT think I should be making news decisions, and I never said that. However, I and you and everyone else have a right to offer an opinion about it, and we shouldn’t fear getting whacked for doing so.

What I Can With What I Got

March 1st, 2011
11:09 pm

Preesh the updates on Captains condition. Hopefully he maintains and is the force/glue that holds a very promising team together. Don’t really understand the value of sniping but if its the only attention you can get then so be it. Kinda sad though.

dachino860

March 1st, 2011
11:50 pm

@eric the elder- stop being a bitter old man, and be happy that one of our braves players (chipper) is feeling good this spring and getting ready to play a long season… Are you not excited about this team or not?? if not just leave this blog and go annoy people elsewhere!

I can’t wait til the season starts! I don’t have peachtree by me, so i ordered MLB.tv and i’m ready to tomahawk chop the hell out of this season. Whose with me!

acbwcmm

March 2nd, 2011
1:17 am

I can only agree with eric the elder. I, too, get tired of seeing such rude rebuttals to blog statements. His comment should not have been taken so personally. The man has a right to his own opinion. That being said, Chipper is “the” guy on the Braves and it is only natural that his comeback is a hot topic. I do not fault the writers for covering him for than some of the other players. Also, I love having this blog to read in the offseason!

EB

March 2nd, 2011
8:07 am

It is big news about Chipper recovering from his surgery, and he is taking it day by day. Therefore, updates come in day by day. Like someone said earlier, if you are tired of reading about it, then stop. Simple solution. Go Braves!!

Obee

March 2nd, 2011
8:14 am

I will say it again. Many of you who have never worked as a reporter have no idea how good you have it here. This is a first-class baseball reporting tag team..

Birther

March 2nd, 2011
8:36 am

Was Chipper born in the USA? How’s that for news?

Birther

March 2nd, 2011
8:38 am

Besides, I think DOB and CR do a GREAT job with their blogs. I am thankful to have them!!!

atlantamelo

March 2nd, 2011
8:38 am

I was happy to see that Mather made a couple of nice plays at third. If we have a strong option at third maybe be can change our position that Martin move in when Chipper needs time off. That will give Martin a chance to settle in to Left.

Don

March 2nd, 2011
8:57 am

You are right Mr. O’Brien – The Braves season should be all about Chipper. After all, if he can bounce back “from his injury” and be as good as he has been in the last two seasons, the Braves will have a Third Baseman who is significantly below average on defense and a hitter who can drive in about 50 to 60 runs hitting in the Third Spot in the order.

Mike

March 2nd, 2011
9:00 am

What happens if Chipper can’t go because of his knee at third base? You move Prado to third (good), and you leave it up to McLouth and Shafer in the OF? Seem slike a lot of “weight” to put on a surgically repaird knee. I woudl look for some changes early in the season when it comes to this. Just keep your fingers crossed the prospects can hold up their end of the bargain.

Hughdaman

March 2nd, 2011
9:19 am

Has anyone heard how Chipper is doing?

Don

March 2nd, 2011
9:44 am

I don’t understand. Most everyone seems to be acting as if Chipper was in the prime of his career when he was injured last year – and that if he can only “bounce back” we have a great player. Has everyone forgotton that Chipper (at the time of his injury) had not had a really good offensive year for two seasons, that his defensive range was significantly below average, and that he will be a year older on his significant downhill age slide. So even if he can “fully bounce back” to where he was before the injury — we will have a below average Third Baseman who will drive in 50-60 runs hitting in the 3rd spot in the order – and that is not even considering that he will be a year older.
There is also the factor that he will be taking up a huge part of the salary budget for the next two years, preventing the Braves from using this for another player. Talk of retirement is probably just that – “talk” – he is probably going to draw the salary for the two years – no matter what — This is not to be critical — It would be difficult for any player to walk away from those millions — The Braves gave him the contract, so the money is his. None of this takes anything away from how great he was as a hitter in the past – far greater than he received credt for being – he was great as a hitter against the best pitchers, and in close games, and in the late innings of close games.

ramblingman

March 2nd, 2011
9:47 am

Well, that was some fun reading. I would like to add my opinion on this.

First, @ Eric – you began this. DOB’s reply was no more stinging than yours. If you can claim to be “mildly tongue-in-cheek”, then DOB could rightfully claim the same thing. There is no way yours can be seen as mild and his as harsh. There’s just not that much difference between them. And to later claim you were whacked for merely speaking your mind? Sorry, but again, there’s not a bit of difference between what you said to him, and what he replied to you.

Second – @ granpapeckinpah – Do you have any evidence at all to support your claim that the bloggers are merely organizational mouthpieces? And what if they were? Who cares? What would it matter? This is a Braves site where Braves bloggers post stories about Braves players for Braves fans. Your comment sounds like yet another troll just trying to make noise because you think your life is unfair. (aside to eric – he was talking about bloggers here, not posters, so no need for you to take umbrage).

Lastly – I appreciate the bloggage that is superior in both quantity and quality. I know DOB and CR both know that the fans are behind them overwhelmingly but they need to hear it sometimes in response to a vocal minority. So, thanks, David and Carroll.

Go Braves

ramblingman

March 2nd, 2011
9:52 am

Have you forgotten, Don, how Chipper’s hitting was getting back on track up until the time of his injury? He is hardly washed up. He is a force when in the lineup. He is capable in the field. He is a team leader.

There, I’ve presented opinions that contradict your opinions. Why don’t we let the season happen and see how he produces? Or you and your side can continue to attack the face of the team hourly which will only draw responses from those of us who support the team.

Kelly

March 2nd, 2011
9:53 am

Don, I look at it this way: If anyone can get back to a high level of performance, it’s Chipper. He’s not a 20-something anymore, or even an early 30-something, so obviously defense and offense fall off. But, particularly offensively, I have faith that he can come back much stronger than before. Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but it is how I feel.

OT, but I am scratching my head at the complaints about the AJC’s Chipper coverage. How many times has it been said that most Braves fans aren’t even in Atlanta? For those of us in states that are NOT Georgia (or Florida, right now), this site is one of the main ways we get Braves news! I personally want to hear regularly about how Chipper is doing and appreciate the updates.

alimc

March 2nd, 2011
11:18 am

@ramblingman—PERFECTLY said, i couldn’t agree more

ramblingman

March 2nd, 2011
11:21 am

Thanks, I try :-)

EB

March 2nd, 2011
11:25 am

alimc I agree. And umm I think I know you? I believe we have sat together at numerous Braves games.

alimc

March 2nd, 2011
11:27 am

alimc

March 2nd, 2011
11:27 am

oh really? i think so too…many memories…and many things that i do NOT remember. aaahhh 29 days!

Mark (another one)

March 2nd, 2011
11:31 am

I consider myself lucky to have the AJC coverage of the Braves. I am a Braves fan and when I travel I can pop up the browser and keep up with my favorite team. Also, like it or not, a key factor in the 2011 Braves is Chipper’s health. I believe he can still be productive at a high level, and frankly the Braves need his bat.

That said, I also enjoy reading some of the blog opinions to see what other fans (and non-fans) have to say. The AJC appears to allow differing opinions, and I appreciate the banter as long as people don’t get personal.

I am predicting for Chipper somewhere around 120 games with a return to somewhere around his career OPS of .941. That would be productive in the 3 slot.

EB

March 2nd, 2011
11:33 am

Hahaha those were the best times, the ones we DON’T remember!

And Kudos Mark(another one)!

alimc

March 2nd, 2011
11:39 am

or..Mark (another GOOD one)!

Bob Sacamano

March 2nd, 2011
11:52 am

Don’t worry, Chipper will be on the DL by the end of April and there won’t be any more stories about him; until that is, we start the Chipper retirement watch.

Bob Sacamano

March 2nd, 2011
11:54 am

Chipper’s off-season training consists of sitting in a deer stand while pounding brewskies.

alimc

March 2nd, 2011
12:09 pm

Powdertowner

March 2nd, 2011
12:30 pm

Yay for Chipper’s return. So happy ST is here. But I did read that Kawakami is in camp now – bleh! And EB and alimc, look foward to going to a few games with you again this year! :)

JoeBravesFan

March 2nd, 2011
12:56 pm

I predict that once Chipper starts playing 3B at game speed, he’ll realize he should retire. His knee isn’t going to hold up anymore, just because he and his teammates want it to…but he’ll make an excellent coach in the future. That salary sitting on the bench 2 or 3 games a week isn’t worth it.

EB

March 2nd, 2011
1:40 pm

Yay Powdertowner! :) And there is nothing wrong with what he does on his off season. I would LOVE to see him as a coach one day, for the Braves of course! But really want him to make it through this season. Pulling for my #1!!!! Go Chipper, and Go Braves!

Papa Bruns

March 2nd, 2011
6:19 pm

Brave fan since 1956 –Anyone–, we are coming to Turner Field 5-10,11,12 to watch a sweep of the Nationals–what would be a good section and row to sit in to watch Freddy and Jason and enjoy the game and have a good chance to catch foul balls alone the First base line???

Papa Bruns

March 2nd, 2011
6:27 pm

Where is the best place to watch a ball game in turner field????

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