Chipper expected back in Braves lineup Tuesday

HOUSTON – He received a cowboy hat as a retirement gift from the Houston Astros on Monday, and Chipper Jones plans to be back in the lineup trying to help beat them Tuesday.

The Braves third baseman is expected to brought off the 15-day disabled list and put in the lineup 15 days after arthroscopic surgery for torn meniscus in his left knee — and without a rehab assignment.

Jones and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez were satisfied with his mobility and swings during an workout Monday afternoon at Minute Maid Park,  five hours before the series opener against the Astros. Tuesday is the first day he’s eligible to come off the DL.

“I would have gone down [to the minor leagues] for a couple of at-bats, and I just thought it was a waste of time because six at-bats in the minors isn’t going to help me be on 95 [mph fastballs] when I get back up here,” Jones said. “They might as well just throw me back into the fire. And ultimately, Fredi and [general manager] Frank [Wren] left it up to me.”

Jones had the similar arthroscopic surgery for torn meniscus in his right knee last summer and played in two minor league games before returning. “Then I blew out my quad in my first game back,” he said.

The Braves just got swept by the Mets to start the season, and if Jones feels he’s ready to get back in there and help the team, they’re ready to welcome him back.

He had 25 at-bats in spring training and faced “live” pitching once since then, taking about 15 swings against Braves rookie Randall Delgado during an off-day workout Friday at New York.

“He feels like he doesn’t need to go out and get a rehab assignment, he feels like he’s fine,” Gonzalez said. “So I figure a guy that’s got 10,000 plate appearances, I’ll take his word for it.”

Last week Jones wasn’t sure that he’d be ready before Friday’s home opener against Milwaukee, because he said the left leg still felt heavy and he didn’t know if he’d be ready to run. He ran the bases some during the workout at New York, and Monday he took grounders and moved from side to side.

“While I’ve had some sore days along the way, today I feel great,” he said, “and I did what I had to today to prove that I can go out there tomorrow… I may not be right on time here at the beginning, at least I’m in the lineup and that means something.”

Asked if he thought he could make a difference, Jones nodded and said, “They pay me to hit.”

He has a .397 average with eight homers, 31 RBIs and a 1.207 OPS in 38 games at Minute Maid Park, after hitting .252 with four homers in 27 games at Houston’s old Astrodome.

His parents, who live most of the year on Jones’ southwest Texas ranch, are in Houston for this week’s series, just as they have been for most games he’s played in the city.

“I love playing here, obviously in front of my parents and what-not,” he said. “But it’s just a matter of me getting back in there. I need to get back in there no matter who we’re facing. But yeah, it’s awfully special to be able to play here.”

Stetson for the old Battleaxe

Jones, who’ll be 40 on April 24, was honored before Monday night’s game by the Astros and given a cream-colored Stetson cowboy hat that was presented to him by former Astros star Craig Biggio in a pregame presentation at home plate. He got a standing ovation from a small crowd.

“Really cool. Classy gesture by the Astros organization,” Jones said. “I can wear it out on the ranch. Houston’s always been special to me because it’s the one place my parents get to come. There’s a ton of Braves fans here, we’ve had a ton of great games here in my tenure here with the Braves against Houston, so it’s awfully nice of them to do that.”

In addition to many memorable moments in regular season and postseason games against the Astros, it’s also where Jones tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during in August 2010, a season-ending injury that many initially believed might end his career.

Jones was back for the start of spring training six months later.

“A lot of good and bad things have happened here,” he said.  “It’s been an interesting place to play. Back when the Killer B’s were here, I think we went 10 or 12 games in a row where they were one-run games. Just really close, well-pitched, well-played games that two playoff-type teams often played against each other. That’s what I’ll remember when I’m done.”

Teammates are wearing blue T-shirts they had designed as a tribute to Jones, whom they refer to as “Battleaxe.”  The shirts have two crossed axes over Jones’ No. 10 on the left breast, and highlights of Jones’ career on the back along with a picture of him batting.

Jones was in New York with the Braves for the opening series, where they hit .151 in three games. They had a .172 average during an eight-game losing streak going back to last season, and the Braves hit .195 with runners in scoring position last September during their 10-20 collapse.

“We’ve dug ourselves a little bit of a hole, but it’s important that we start swinging the bats,” Jones said.  We played well enough to win at least two of the three [at New York] if we swing the bats at all. We’re just not getting anything started early in innings. Whenever we get a guy in scoring position it’s always two outs, and that’s not a comfortable spot for a hitter. They have to get a hit to score.

“We haven’t given ourselves many opportunities to score any easy runs, you know a guy on third less than two outs, where guys really prosper. It’s going to take us being a little better early in innings to turn it around.”

260 comments Add your comment

JipWiz

April 9th, 2012
8:36 pm

Steve

April 9th, 2012
8:46 pm

JipWiz, nobody cares if you are “first” I assure you.

JipWiz

April 9th, 2012
8:53 pm

Somebody does…you commented : )

archie

April 9th, 2012
8:53 pm

Tomorrow night’s headline: “Chipper expected back on DL Wednesday”

Chris from the Rock

April 9th, 2012
9:02 pm

I wonder if he changes his mind about retirement if he has a .280/.380./.460 season with about 22 HRs.

jmo

April 9th, 2012
9:12 pm

4 errors in 3 innings. Juan Francisco–another blockbuster trade by Frank Wren. Why not just get the guys outside of Turner selling bottled water to play? They’d save the team even more money.

alex

April 9th, 2012
9:13 pm

3 errors=3 runs, mighty fine baseball by the bravos;beachy should slap Wrenn for getting our fine 3rd baseman….UGLY baseball

SOS Braves

April 9th, 2012
9:15 pm

This team is just a GD joke

JNick

April 9th, 2012
9:19 pm

Beachy has no one but himself to blame for that inning. No excuse to walk Shafer with 2 outs…

SOS Braves

April 9th, 2012
9:20 pm

Nice 3rd baseman we have

OldTimer

April 9th, 2012
9:21 pm

My favorite Chipper memory?
The error he made that cost us home field advantage in the playoffs.

nobody

April 9th, 2012
9:22 pm

IDC if you have to pay chipper 300 million to come back. Just do anything to keep Francisco away.

jer

April 9th, 2012
9:25 pm

After you lose 3 in a row in your season series opener, it is not the time to experiment with a ? player to find out what he can do against left-handers when that is his weaker side. You need to go all out for a win.

JNick

April 9th, 2012
9:27 pm

Jer, the upside with Heyward is better than it is with Diaz, who hasn’t hit a HR in about 2 years…and is a defensive liability.

JNick

April 9th, 2012
9:28 pm

Or are you referring to Francisco? Francisco actually hits lefties at a decent clip…hell, better than Uggla.

phil

April 9th, 2012
9:32 pm

Oldtimer = doofus

Billy

April 9th, 2012
9:32 pm

J-Hey would have caught that ball..Diaz ain’t not outfielder. That attempt was lol.. and his arm is zero just like Nate’s was. Dear God please send us a outfielder that can play and hit.

BravesfaninWis

April 9th, 2012
9:33 pm

This team f’n sucks. A typical Brandon Beachy start, can’t keep a lead. Typical Braves game, can’t keep a lead. 4 errors already in this game. This team will get absolutely destroyed when they play a good team. They are being down right embarrassed by 2 crappy teams, the Mets and Astros. I am ready to write this team off already after 4 games. Actually, after 34 games dating back to their monumental collapse last season. What a f’n joke this team is.

Whut Am I Watchin ?

April 9th, 2012
9:34 pm

Man, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory… This team really sucks !

Rico Carty

April 9th, 2012
9:34 pm

Wren says they were after Francisco for a long time. Makes you wonder what kind of talent evaluator he is. Francisco is fat, slow, and appears disintrested. He will be gone in a month and Hoover will be a star.

jmo

April 9th, 2012
9:34 pm

“A sneak peek at the new 3 stooges movie.” …the most fitting thing ever during a Braves broadcast. I can’t tell them and the infield apart.

Billy

April 9th, 2012
9:35 pm

Francisco gets some playing time he will get better…but no excuse for the Diazzzz.

BravesfaninWis

April 9th, 2012
9:39 pm

Beachy is a joke. The once pitching rich Braves are now one of, if not the biggest jokes in the game.

Billy

April 9th, 2012
9:40 pm

Where’s all the great pitching Braves suppose to have?

Larry

April 9th, 2012
9:40 pm

Fredi’s batting strategy: L, R, L, R, L, R, L, R, regardless of their situational ability of any particular batting position or circumstance.

Pretty smart, huh?

jer

April 9th, 2012
9:40 pm

I was referring to Francisco who only hit .269 against lefties in the minors last year (.343 against righties). I accept that at some point that you have to try him out if you put him on the roster (and I think we have the answer: Conrad II as a fielder) and not too long into the season so he doesn’t rust out on the bench. However, not during a slump that is a continuation of the last year’s dive. The team needs to get out of the losing streak before it casts a permanent pall on the team (if it already hasn’t).

BravesfaninWis

April 9th, 2012
9:43 pm

Beachy should go back to putting up siding or installing Windows or whatever he was doing when the Braves signed him. They take the rest of these bumb with you.

joey

April 9th, 2012
9:44 pm

If Heyward was playing score would be 3-3.

Where is Leo!

JNick

April 9th, 2012
9:45 pm

Pastornicky might be the best player on the team right now…

b

April 9th, 2012
9:45 pm

Looks like our three young pitching phenoms have regressed, Teheran,Delgado, and Vizciano.
What the heck’s going on?

BravesfaninWis

April 9th, 2012
9:47 pm

Then you have Pastornicky who can’t even throw the ball from second base to first base without pulling freeman off the bag. This team sucks top to bottom. They can’t pitch, they can’t field, and they can’t hit.

joey

April 9th, 2012
9:56 pm

Why didn’t McCann catch the ball at home that hit his glove…trying to tag before catching it..should have been error on Mac.

Stanley

April 9th, 2012
9:56 pm

Is committing 4 errors in 4 innings bad?

BravesfaninWis

April 9th, 2012
9:57 pm

This team is pathetic… Hard to even care about this team any longer.

Tampon Bay Bucs

April 9th, 2012
9:59 pm

After the game Livan & Francisco are gonna eat an all you can eat Chinese restaurant outta business !
Joe Simpson is not qualified to be a judge of talent with his 5 year .204 career batting average…

Felix

April 9th, 2012
9:59 pm

These Braves can’t hit, can’t pitch, and now they can’t even throw a baseball.

Losers

April 9th, 2012
10:01 pm

Leave him in their freddi. What’s another 2 more runs

Who knows

April 9th, 2012
10:01 pm

Somebody call Smoltzie and get the phone number for his old sports psychologist — this team needs help

Losers

April 9th, 2012
10:02 pm

Leave him in there Fredi. What’s a grand slam gonna do

Felix

April 9th, 2012
10:02 pm

Also, let’s all give our thanks to Frank Wren for signing Livian. That is really working out great. He is a great batting practice pitcher for the Astros.

Losers

April 9th, 2012
10:03 pm

Notice how much better players are once they leave the braves

Bill

April 9th, 2012
10:03 pm

This is so funny,,my wife wont stop laughing…you have to laugh to keep from crying…lollololololo

Losers

April 9th, 2012
10:04 pm

Hit it back to the pitcher. He will fall over trying to pick it up

Losers

April 9th, 2012
10:04 pm

Grand Slam or walk. take your pick

Losers

April 9th, 2012
10:05 pm

Concede the run? Moron like they had any chance to get him out

J.S.

April 9th, 2012
10:05 pm

Remember that letter I wrote?
………Never mind.

Bravesfan79

April 9th, 2012
10:05 pm

Wouldnt this be a good time to bring in Venters or another strikeout pitcher?? Nope… lets leave Livan in there and see what happens…. geezz

BravesfaninWis

April 9th, 2012
10:06 pm

This team is f’n done.. Get rid of these so called pitchers, this duct tape defense, and this anemic offense. If one fan shows up and spends their money to watch this pathetic product play a game, they are pathetic themselves.

And of course our stupid manager leaving in the useless Livan Hernandez to long and giving up more runs. It’s almost comical watching a team this bad try to play. What do you know, another run. Screw you Braves, I am done with your useless and pathetic ass.

Losers

April 9th, 2012
10:08 pm

I thought they had all this great pitching!

snoopy

April 9th, 2012
10:08 pm

SMDH!!! We need huddy back, chipper back, and move Medlen into the rotation…oh yea, And hire terry franconca as our new manager.

0-4

April 9th, 2012
10:10 pm

Beth Keener is the only reason to watch the game and they only show her a couple of seconds

0-4

April 9th, 2012
10:11 pm

Yeah snoop two old injury ridden men sure are the answer.

Biff Pocoroba

April 9th, 2012
10:11 pm

I wish someone would ask Wren and Fredi about these dumb moves instead of just trying to be their buddy. No one wants to upset Fredi and ask about his lousy pitching decisions and interrupt his talk of the Orlando Magic.

0-4

April 9th, 2012
10:11 pm

Swing at that first pitch

Braves

April 9th, 2012
10:12 pm

Chip just thought jason heyward was michael bourn and tried to cover it up. Dumb ass

Felix

April 9th, 2012
10:12 pm

To sum up the comments fron posters so far:
The Braves can’t hit, pitch, catch, or throw. Also, there are some concerns being expressed about certain Braves eating habits/pot bellies.
And what’s with that way ‘cisco wears his hat?

Biff Pocoroba

April 9th, 2012
10:12 pm

The pitching must be at Gwinnett. They had a not hitter to the 7th tonight. No one there can hit either though.

Sugar Bear Blanks

April 9th, 2012
10:13 pm

Sub par manager. Livan Hernandez….are you kidding me? Swiss cheese defense. Depending on Matty Diaz for offense? And we’re depending on Grandpa Jones to give us a spark???? This team is not good. Put Hernandez, Francisco, Heyward, Bourn, Martinez, and Jurrjens on the train. Package some players; make some deals. Get some offense. Starter and back end of the bullpen are good. But everything else needs adjusted. Let some heads roll and see if it will wake up the decent players who are sleepwalking….

0-4

April 9th, 2012
10:13 pm

That heyward is awesome! Let’s sign him for 8 years 200 million!

Eddie Matthews' Ghost

April 9th, 2012
10:14 pm

Season is 4 games old and the Braves are DONE! Hernandez gives up 4 runs in his first game. The rookie SS is the only one hitting OVER .215 and Ugly is off to another .083 start. All you loud mouths that said spring training was meaningless, well guess what!!!! They still stink!

Uh oh

April 9th, 2012
10:14 pm

It’s only preseason….. It’s only the first game…. Its only first two games… It’s only first three games…. It’s only first four games. But no need to be concerned.

Octavius

April 9th, 2012
10:15 pm

Braves offense: Way to fight back and come through for the team in the 7th.

David the Shepherd

April 9th, 2012
10:16 pm

Steve got JipWizzed!!

snoopy

April 9th, 2012
10:16 pm

0 fer…have u seen any game? sure looks like we ned them bc we cant get any worse

BravesFan in DC

April 9th, 2012
10:16 pm

Fredi Gonzalez needs to be managing AAA. Can we get a real manager in here?

Fredi

April 9th, 2012
10:18 pm

Livan was so good in the 6th, I’ll pitch him in the 7th again.

Never Too Early to Panic

April 9th, 2012
10:19 pm

Who really cares that Chipper is coming back? He’s not going to be able to help this bunch of losers.

Go ahead and retire, Chipper … and take most of these other guys with you.

Rally The Caps...Not Tip The Caps

April 9th, 2012
10:19 pm

This is pathetic. I would like to ask the noob Fredi why McCann bunted in the first…why Fransico doesn’t have his hat turned on straight on a class ball club not a thug team….why your leaving pitchers to throw over a 100 pitches in the first games of the season Jurjjens Sat and now Beachy….why Chipper is laughing on the sideline down 3 runs and not motivating and kicking some tail on the four errors they committed. This sucks make it 9 in a row dating back to last September!!!! The laughing stock of A Town has arrived.

snoopy

April 9th, 2012
10:19 pm

hire terry francona

Jordan

April 9th, 2012
10:20 pm

Wait, listen……………………………..do you hear that?????

IT’S CIRCUS MUSIC PLAYING!!!!!!!!!!!!

blueridge

April 9th, 2012
10:22 pm

God i hate watching Livan in a braves uni. I now know how the nats felt, and that is a horrible feeling. When this guy is on your team, you are treading water. Horrible pick up. Horrible start to a really dull season.

And when did we trade up for that AA infield? Holy cow, big step backwards.

Braves

April 9th, 2012
10:23 pm

Im ready fortomorrow some UGA football. The Braves are beyond terrible

the truth...

April 9th, 2012
10:23 pm

When Wren brought Livan in I almost gagged……..we are so “dam” pitching rich and then we bring this tired arm in and send a young guy that earned the spot down…..

So how’s that working out for you Frank?……….let me answer for you………pitiful…

Everyone (including myself) have questioned Chipper playing this year…..so how is the new Wren acquistion working out?….Juan Francisco…..???

I’m pretty sure that everyone is looking forward to Chipper at 3rd….and the sooner the better………….

Braves

April 9th, 2012
10:23 pm

waterstim

April 9th, 2012
10:24 pm

agree. fire freddie, hire terry francona

GwinnettDad

April 9th, 2012
10:25 pm

By the time the Braves get home, they’ll be 2-4, 1-5, or 0-6. Any bets? 1-5 is optomistic, at this rate. 3 runs from the Braves? That’s a lot to expect from this team.

David the Shepherd

April 9th, 2012
10:25 pm

Rally, amen to the laughing comment. I, for one, am tired of seeing this complacent, happy attitude from the Braves during this horrendous stretch of “play”. At least act like you care about the fans who spend “serious” money to watch this tragic comedy. And I agree totally on the hat thing. These actions are all reflections of a “manager” who assumes that since all of these guys are professionals, they are going to act that way. Someone must make these guys accountable for their salaries, and it sure as heck ain’t Fredi.

Frank "I Love Prospects" Wren

April 9th, 2012
10:25 pm

“As far as the Braves lineups is concerned, I don’t think we need any changes. Instead of capitalizing on our young talent when they had high market value and trading for a bat, I chose to stand pat. Our young pitchers don’t seem to be doing well, but we’ll stick with the prospects, cuz I love me some prospects even though they never win.”

Uh oh

April 9th, 2012
10:26 pm

0-6. At least kimbrel and venters won’t burn out. No games to close out.

Never Too Early to Panic

April 9th, 2012
10:26 pm

Braves Live ought to be a hoot tonight

JJ: “Well, Braves drop the 1st one to the Astros”

RG: “There were some encouraging signs. They took a lead. Scored some runs early. They are very close to putting it all together.”

That dumb chick: “Let’s see what our fans had to say on twitter. On second thought …”

FG: “Gotta tip your cap.”

Blah, blah, blah

Braves 0-4, not going to sniff .500 all year but that’s OK, we alwys have last year to … oh wait, last year didn’t end so well.

Sophisticated/All Knowing Fan

April 9th, 2012
10:27 pm

1. What happened in Sept. rarely happens. There is simply no need to be concerned or make big moves in the off season.
2. What? Losing a lot of games in ST is nothing to get worried about.
3. Starting 0 and 4 is no big deal! It’s a long season.

Juan "The Great One" Francisco

April 9th, 2012
10:28 pm

“Well you gotta tip your cap the those Astros. According to foxsports they were first in the power rankings, oh wait I had it upside down, they were last, but still I think they could win the World Series. YOU GOTTA TIP YOUR CAP!

ToeMeetsLeather

April 9th, 2012
10:28 pm

Going to be a long summer waiting for college football folks.

0-4

April 9th, 2012
10:29 pm

Time for a vintage fugla strikeout

0-4

April 9th, 2012
10:29 pm

Just as I said. What a great pickup he was! Let’s sign him for 10 years and 250 million!!

Skeezix

April 9th, 2012
10:30 pm

Well, about the most positive thing I can say is……..at least Venters and Kimbrel are well rested.

Never Too Early to Panic

April 9th, 2012
10:32 pm

“at least Venters and Kimbrel are well rested.”

Too bad we won’t really need them this year.

The Winnipeg Braves

April 9th, 2012
10:32 pm

Fire Freddi , hire Terry Francona

BravesfaninWis

April 9th, 2012
10:32 pm

Getting their ass handed to them by a bunch of rebuilding teams. Quite possibly the worst team in baseball. Not just saying that either, they have looked the part in every game this season. Today was the first time they had a lead all season and what do they do? They f’n blow it like they always do.

Caseyatthebat

April 9th, 2012
10:33 pm

They can GIVE hotdogs away and I’m not paying to see these guys. I’d keep Prado, McCann, Uggla and Freeman. The rest can go. We need players with high rbi’s and high on base percentage. I think this team is TOO comfortable together. I think the Brave organization tries to run the on field sport as if it was a business. Seniority has its rewards.

0-4

April 9th, 2012
10:33 pm

6 unanswered runs by the strohs! What a team!

jmo

April 9th, 2012
10:34 pm

Now in the game to wave the white flag, Scott Linebr… I mean, Chad Durbin.

Juan "The Great One" Francisco

April 9th, 2012
10:34 pm

“Well I went out there and tried my super duper hardest, but I committed 3 errors (sad puppy face). But Fredi Gonzalez said it was ok as long as I TIPPED MY CAP TO THE ASTROS!”

0-4

April 9th, 2012
10:35 pm

The giants won today Chip.

Never Too Early to Panic

April 9th, 2012
10:36 pm

IF ANYONE WAS PLANNING ON GOING FRIDAY NIGHT, DON’T. THIS ORGANIZATION NEEDS TO KNOW THAT THIS IS A TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE PRODUCT THAT THEY ARE TRYING TO PUSH ON US. A HALF EMPTY STADIUM ON OPENING NIGHT WOULD BE FITTING FOR THESE BUMS. IF YOU DO FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO GO, MAKE SURE YOU GREET THEM WITH A LOUD CHORUS OF BOOS.

Uh oh

April 9th, 2012
10:37 pm

The announcers were ridiculing fans who are panicking. Don’t want to hear about other 0-3 teams. I would trade our group for phillies or Yankees roster right now.

2012 Atlanta Braves

April 9th, 2012
10:37 pm

Cellar Dwellers
33% off food! What a deal! To see this crap team, I would go if food was free. Food is crap anyway

2012 Atlanta Braves

April 9th, 2012
10:38 pm

Braves really look like a Triple A team.

GwinnettDad

April 9th, 2012
10:39 pm

If the Braves do come home 0-6, I’m wondering if a home opener was ever attended by a sell out crowd all with paper bags over their heads? Maybe, just maybe, Atlanta has a chance to make baseball history!

Uh oh

April 9th, 2012
10:40 pm

Go ahead. Pound the braves Astros. Maybe it will get someone’s attention. But it’s still early. Nice homer.

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