Chipper hopes to play on 40th birthday Tuesday

LOS ANGELES – He turns 40 on Tuesday, and Chipper Jones felt his age Monday when he was out of the lineup for the series opener against the Dodgers to rest his sore left knee.

The future Hall of Famer had trouble getting down the first-base line Sunday at Arizona when he grounded into a double play as a pinch-hitter. The soreness lingered Monday, along with some minor fluid buildup after the flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles.

“Yeah, I was struggling yesterday,” said Jones, who had arthroscopic knee surgery March 26, his sixth knee surgery and third on that knee. “I have some pain on the inside joint line that’s causing some problems. I just have days where it’s, you know, it’s not working. Where it’s sore. But I’ve been having pretty consistently right there in the joint line.

“I’ve been getting treatment on it for this last little bit, and yesterday was about as bad as it’s been since I’ve had surgery. As you could tell, I wasn’t getting down the line real good. So give it an extra day to get some treatments.”

Jones started seven of the Braves’ 16 games before Monday and pinch-hit in two others. He had a .276 average with two homers and eight RBIs in 29 at-bats, and hoped to be back in the lineup for Tuesday’s game on his birthday.

“It’d be nice [to play on his birthday], but it’s not going to hurt my feelings,” he said. “That’s the good thing about having Juan [Francisco]. He’s provided us some power and some offense, so it’s not a necessity that I be in there. I can take my time when I’m not feeling good. When something’s hurting I can yield and not worry about the offense.”

Francisco, acquired in a trade from Cincinnati on the last weekend of spring training, has filled in ably at third base, with the notable exception of a three-error game at Houston. He had a .286 average with three homers and seven RBI in 28 at-bats before Monday.

The Braves also have the option of playing Martin Prado at third base and Matt Diaz in left field against some left-handers, as they did Monday against Dodgers lefty Chris Capuano.

“It’s going to act up,”  manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Jones’ balky knee. “We talked about it, and I’m good with it. It’s fine. We’ve got people in here to cover it. It’ll be fine. The one thing I want is to keep him off the DL the whole year. Because he’s presence in the clubhouse when he’s on the roster, he’s a presence during the game, and he’s going to have a productive year.”

Jones grew up in Florida as a Dodgers fan, like his dad. So being at Dodger Stadium for his 40th birthday is special. It’s his last scheduled visit to the stadium, as Jones has announced he’s retiring after the season.

“Yeah, I think as much attention as was paid around my household to how the Dodgers were doing, how Dusty and Garvey and Cey and Russell and Lopes and Yeager, all those guys were doing,” he said. “The first thing I did when I woke up to go to school in the morning was turn on the news to see how the Dodgers did the night before.

“So 30 years later, my 40th birthday, and I’m sitting in this clubhouse about ready to play a series here in Los Angeles is really cool.”

He was also asked about being one of the few players of this era to play at age 40.

“It’s cool for me to know that I can still go out and still play at a relatively high level at 40,” he said. “It’s not that big a deal that I’m playing at 40, but it means a lot that I want to be productive. And if I didn’t think I could be productive, I would have hung it up.

“I still go out there and hit in the middle of the lineup, hit for power and, at some point hopefully hit for a better average. But all the things that have gotten me throughout the years, I feel like are still there. Maybe not as consistently as they once were.

“Yeah, being 40 and still playing a kids’ game is pretty cool. But this is it. So don’t get any inklings about 41.”

Pastornicky out for third game

Rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky was out of the lineup for a third consecutive game Monday, but Gonzalez said he would play the next two games against the Dodgers.

Pastornicky, batting .175 with a .214 on-base percentage, has spent extra time working with hitting coaches Greg Walker and assistant Scott Fletcher the past few days.

They are trying to get him back to the approach he had in the minor leagues last season and during the last couple of weeks of spring training. The 22-year-old had no major league experience before starting out this season as the opening day shortstop.

“When you first come up and things are going fast, you can just kind of get all scattered a little bit,” Fletcher said. “We want him to slow down a little bit, settle down and get back to doing what he does. He was just kind of getting all over the place [recently], and so many things going through his mind. It was difficult for him to even absorb anything because things were going so fast.

“He’s trying to get back to being himself. Because a lot of people were saying certain things and we know how that goes because we’ve been there. So we just wanted him to slow down a little bit. He’ll be fine. You just start trying to do a little bit too much, it’s just … sometimes you have meetings and do things and you just kind of get all over the place. It’s a little different – you don’t do as much of that in the minor leagues.”

Gonzalez said Pastornicky would have been back in the lineup Monday, but veteran shortstop Jack Wilson was 10-for-27 with a homer against Capuano. Wilson made his third consecutive start.

“Just kind of getting back to my routine,” Pastornicky said. “I think I got away from what I do well. That’s kind of normal [for a rookie], from what I’ve been told. I’m just trying to get back to what I’m good at, which is going up there and making good, hard contact. It’s one of those things, once something starts going bad other things start to follow. So it’s just getting back to what I do best….

“There’s a tendency to try to jump out there and get the ball, rather than just staying relaxed and doing what I do. Another thing is I think I was overanalyzing it, thinking a little too much instead of just going out there and kind of going with the flow.”

65 comments Add your comment

Dan Struggla

April 23rd, 2012
10:11 pm

Fredi sure does love those small, meaningless sample sizes.

J-Man

April 23rd, 2012
10:23 pm

Uggla should bat bat lower in the line up. I would have Heyward batting ahead of him. Also it looks like Fredi has lost confidence with Pastornicky, which I understand but what I dont understand is why he doesnt just send him down to get some ABs.

bastardo

April 23rd, 2012
10:31 pm

who the hell gives a crap about chipper jones? the guy dumped his wife for a hooters waitress, fer chrissakes, and now he’s a hobbling OLD has-been who’s getting paid a ton of money for doing squat!

go-BRAVOS

April 23rd, 2012
10:41 pm

I’m as big a Chipper fan as anybody; however, he is obviously INJURED and needs to be resting to get his knee better. I know a busted up Chipper is better than most but man this playing 1 game sitting out 2 is stupid. If he can’t any healthier playing through the injury then he should sit down and let Francisco play until he comes back ready to play baseball.
The Braves should be trying to win a Championship and having half a player is not helping. I want him to be able to help the team win a Championship not sit out half the year because he can’t play.
$14mil is alot to play a part time player and so far thats Chipper. He’s one of the greatest but that is in the past, the team should be playing for Championships and if he’s out for every other game I don’t see it happening. Get healthy Chipper, well as healthy as a 40 can be playing MLB.

Go Braves!

BravesfaninWis

April 23rd, 2012
10:42 pm

Jurrjens sucks. I won’t bash the Braves, but they need to get rid of the dead weight that named Jair Jurrjens.

BravesfaninWis

April 23rd, 2012
10:44 pm

Damn, Ross crushed that one. Jurrjens sucks at the plate just like he does on the mound.

iTiSi

April 23rd, 2012
10:52 pm

It’s very obvious that JJ does not have it tonight, but just you wait and see, “The Robot” manager will leave him in there until the Braves get 4-5 runs behind which is hard to make up. He usually does that.

BravesfaninWis

April 23rd, 2012
10:53 pm

I can’t stand Jurrjens. Every time that useless sad ass sack of bones gets a lead or ties the game up, he has to give it right back. So sick of this f’n loser messing things up for the Braves. Get this sorry ass excuse of a pitcher off this team. Good luck Boras getting this joke a new contract. What is that, 4 hits in a row? What a loser.

tyler

April 23rd, 2012
10:55 pm

Agreed – JJ sucks. Looks nothing like the guy that went- what? 12-3 last yr before ASB??? Pitched poorly the second half of last year and has picked up where he left off….sit him down

kerryb

April 23rd, 2012
10:56 pm

iTiSi
April 23rd, 2012
10:52 pm

It’s very obvious that JJ does not have it tonight, but just you wait and see, “The Robot” manager will leave him in there until the Braves get 4-5 runs behind which is hard to make up. He usually does that.

____________________________________________________

JJ hasn’t had it all year. Kris Medlin needs to be starting in his place. When a righty doesn’t have confidence in his left knee he’s done.

BravesfaninWis

April 23rd, 2012
10:56 pm

I hope his arm falls off. Go back to wherever u came from loser.

kerryb

April 23rd, 2012
10:58 pm

tyler
April 23rd, 2012
10:55 pm

Agreed – JJ sucks. Looks nothing like the guy that went- what? 12-3 last yr before ASB??? Pitched poorly the second half of last year and has picked up where he left off….sit him down

___________________________________________________

He didn’t pitch the second half. Went down with the knee in August and never made it back.

iTiSi

April 23rd, 2012
10:58 pm

JJ will be this year’s “D Lowe”. Now all he has to do is go out and get a DUI charge. Wonder what has happened with Martinez DUI? Did that get swept under the rug like DLowe’s last year? I did notice that CM was a little “shaky” his last outing.

kdawg1017

April 23rd, 2012
11:11 pm

hey bastardo you dont make any sense if chipper retired and didnt play at all this year the braves would still owe him 14 mil no matter what so its better to have him sit the bench to get healthy than not have him at all and pay him educate yourself please bastardo its not chippers fault for signing on the dotted line you can thank frank wren for the money he makes

sports

April 23rd, 2012
11:29 pm

WHO CARES!!!

IlliniBrave

April 23rd, 2012
11:31 pm

And to think that we had some offers for JJ last year and we took a pass! Wow, I bet Wren would love to have those available now.

Also, please somebody provide a convincing rationale for how and why Jack Wilson is on our much less any major league roster.

JNick

April 23rd, 2012
11:33 pm

Actually, no, if Chipper retired and didn’t play, then he’d forfeit what’s left on his contract….

Oh and Braves are 7-2 when Chipper plays…6-1 when he starts. But yeah, he sucks…

JNick

April 23rd, 2012
11:34 pm

(heavy sarcasm above)

IlliniBrave

April 23rd, 2012
11:35 pm

Half of a Chipper is better than two Jack Wilson’s

Biff Pocoroba

April 23rd, 2012
11:35 pm

JJ is awful and then Fredi gets a washed up 40 year old pitcher in the bullpen. He gave up in the third inning. Uggla needs to spend more time working on his swing instead of his biceps. This team looked good for a week so Fredi had to start messing things up by sitting guys that were playing well. Pastornicky can’t hit but he is still better than Wilson. Wren should be fired for not getting rid of JJ and getting a second basemen than can hit over .220. This team is about to go in the tank but at least tickets will be cheap this summer.

Truth hurts

April 23rd, 2012
11:37 pm

Time to drop JJ from rotation and give Medlen or Teheran the other spot. At this point, he may go the way of Kawacrappy

harleyrednek

April 23rd, 2012
11:37 pm

wow here we go again. different day same freddi b squad line up.way to go freddi why do u leave jj in after he has sucked all night to waiste an out with heyward on third?? guess its another tip your hat kinda night! plus whats one loss gonna do?? oh wait thats right last year we missed the playoffs by one game! gotta get rid of the stupid manager why do you think florida canned him!

Braves'57

April 23rd, 2012
11:43 pm

Agree Medlen should replace JJ in rotation. Leaves a hole in middle relief that’ll have to be filled.

Biff Pocoroba

April 23rd, 2012
11:45 pm

At least I can get some sleep now. I remember when the Braves used to be worth staying up late to watch. Now Fredi puts the game out of reach when he writes out the starting lineup with Diaz and Wilson because he just “had a hunch” while he and Livan were putting down their third In and Out double cheeseburger.

Michael G.

April 23rd, 2012
11:55 pm

Looks like 3 of the “if’s” coming into the season aren’t panning out for the Braves. 1. Chipper staying healthy. 2. Pastornicky able to play at the major league level. 3. JJ coming back from last year’s injury and pitching well.

They have to dance with this group of players til season’s end, then $40 million comes off the books, and they have a chance to rebuild the roster. Man, Josh Hamilton sure would look good patrolling one of the outfield spots next season!

[...] Source: ajc.com [...]

tyler

April 24th, 2012
12:02 am

Yeah, good call Kerryb- I may have been thinking of Hanson- not sure though. Either way- he went from being lights out one of our best pitchers to this bs tonight. Not gonna blame him for this loss though, 0-6 with RISP? Heyward hit it on the nose that last out but he did strike out w bases loaded and he did throw it 10 feet off the mark for the play at home (2nd or 3rd inning). Again- back to JJ- time to send him to the bullpen or (out of options?) back down…..

bravesssssssssssssssssss

April 24th, 2012
12:07 am

well another waste game for the braves….

jurrjens is hurt obviously!!!! time to trade him or release….

why not sign Roy Oswalt????? sure oswalt will can do better job than jurrjens….

trade jurrjens and middle prospect ( AA or A ) to the Royals for Alex Gordon

then move prado to 3rd and send C. Jones to the bench only and spot starts on 3rd base…

Biff Pocoroba

April 24th, 2012
12:08 am

This team looks like they just don’t even bother to try some nights when they get a look at the lineup that Fredi puts out. When they see Diaz, Wilson, and JJ on there, they know that they can’t win, so they don’t even bother to put up much of an effort. It won’t be long before they totally quit on Fredi and force the Braves to decide if they won’t to win or upset Bobby Cox and get rid of Fredi.

bravessssssss

April 24th, 2012
12:10 am

@braves 57 : yes i think like you …Medlen is a good option for take the spot in starting rotation but what about middle relief??? if the braves are capable to find a good reliever then they can do the transition …

JNick

April 24th, 2012
12:11 am

Apparently, everyone is forgetting Hudson will be back in a week….no need to get an Oswalt – and if you move Medlen to the #5 slot, then you put Delgado in for long relief…or call up Flande, who’s destroying AAA pitching….or hell, even Buddy Carlyle (also pitching well in AAA).

JNick

April 24th, 2012
12:13 am

But…if you have 5 solid starters, you have little need for a long relief role….

braves

April 24th, 2012
12:16 am

HB Chipper Jones!!!….. a future HOF ….. im a braves fan since 1994 and you are my favorite baseball player.
but dude we need to be realistic your carrer is over…. sure you still have a few hits but we need the $ 15 millions for sign a good LF / 3B …

chipper is on pace to play maybe 81 games only…..

bravesssss

April 24th, 2012
12:22 am

@ JNick: yeah dude but you cant move delgado to the bullpen you never knows when you can need a spot start for injury or whatever then if delgado is overused in the bullpen work he cant make the spot start

and for be honest i dont think teheran is a real prospect … delgado is better than teheran PERIOD…

teheran dont show nothing last year and delgado show a nice starts

other thing medlen is better than jurrjens and good like hanson…

a lot of good starts in 2010…

is a shame vizcaino is done for 2012 season …. in vizcaino the braves have a good reliever

bravesss

April 24th, 2012
12:27 am

saturday , sunday and tonight the braves look like the same braves in the past 2 seasons

unable to hit the FUC@#!”!!/* KING ball

the braves have a 3 big problems right now

1.- JURRJENS
2. CHIPPER
3. BOTH SHORTSTOPS
AND A BONUS TRACK : THE UNNECESARY RELIEVER NAMED CHAD DURBIN…

braves

April 24th, 2012
12:30 am

@ JNick: not sure about Flande one thing is AAA and other is MLB ..no because Flande is destroying AAA mean he can do the same on the big show….

and about Carlyle well he is a veteran reliever is better option yes

braves

April 24th, 2012
12:33 am

i dont know why the braves waste the David Ross bat …when he is on the game he always knocks a hit …..

send down durbin to AAA call up Boscan and use Ross in Pinch hitter role all games…

JNick

April 24th, 2012
12:45 am

No reason to carry 3 catchers – in a pinch, Matt Diaz (former catcher) could throw some gear on…
Durbin has tenure and could (would) refuse an assignment to AAA, thus granting him a release. He’s actually pitched well his last few times out. Livan has pitched well tonight too – at least kept the game in reach.

JNick

April 24th, 2012
12:51 am

Well, I jinxed Livan….lol

iTiSi

April 24th, 2012
1:02 am

I wish to take this opportunity to thank Fredi “the wimp” Gonzalez for making me out a prophet tonight, as he has done umpteen times before. I said he would leave JJ in as he usually does until the Braves were too far down to come back. Thanks FG, you really make me look good! (Oh, did anyone else notice Livan Hernandez smiling and laughing as he was walking off after giving up those runs and putting it way out of reach. Guess he has been around the “smiling robot” manager too much.)

o-my

April 24th, 2012
1:09 am

JJ just don’t have it right now..he needs to go to AAA are DL to work on it..He has the ability but just got to figure it out again.Go Braves ..get’em tomorrow.

o-my

April 24th, 2012
1:13 am

Liven did a VG job..just bad luck on two pitches.
Ross is Super Star catcher..better than McCann behind the plate but Mac hits better.
Better days ahead…

bobbybrave

April 24th, 2012
4:34 am

agree jj as problems……but play .500 on the road and all will be good…….dodgers are a very good team, and that gordon at ss looks strong……the braves will need to make a move on the ss postion if they want to make the playoffs….go braves looking foreward for the return of huddy

MikeY

April 24th, 2012
6:18 am

Maybe Chipper needs another MRI on the knee to see if anything is still wrong?

ToeMeetsLeather

April 24th, 2012
6:50 am

IlliniBrave, the reason Jack Wilson is at SS is simple. The payroll is fixed and we are paying Chip 14 million to watch games, we spent 10 million on the Dereck Lowe DUI defense fund this year, and we had to spend probably a couple of million on a Chipper back-up. That is why we have a huge void at SS and LF. Wren will have 24+ million to shore up these spots next year. This next offseason will determine Wren’s fate as the Braves’s GM. The team should be a powerhouse next year with a few strong free agent signings.

tradervic

April 24th, 2012
8:18 am

Chippee saw who was starting and his knee flared up…He is 1 for 11 against the guy w/5 k’s….Yep, don’t wanna hurt your avg. or your knee…

DaveinNEPA

April 24th, 2012
8:40 am

I wonder if it ever occured top our HOF 3bman that if he hadn’t rushed himself to get back in the lineup and let that knee heal a bit, he might not be getting so much pain now.

OLDMAN

April 24th, 2012
10:23 am

I agree 1000000000% WITH BASTARDO.

OLDMAN

April 24th, 2012
10:28 am

I wonder who in the Braves organization thouhgt he is/was/gonna be a big league manager.something funny is after the game interview listening him stumble and bumble his way through it.

OLDMAN

April 24th, 2012
10:31 am

Just think….in tonights game how many stories about how wonderful and great Larry Wayne has been.Thinking I am gonn be sick.

Loosing Managar = Loosing Record

April 24th, 2012
10:40 am

Hears a bithday presnt Chipper. Retrie now! Stop being shelifish and let some 1 else play.

Nuff said

Todd - Dacula

April 24th, 2012
10:46 am

Happy Birthday Larry ‘Chiper’ Jones…

Fats

April 24th, 2012
11:00 am

Hoping “Bones”Jones leads us to victory tonight

iliketacos

April 24th, 2012
11:13 am

Well said, Losing Manager = Losing Record!! happy birthday larry, enjoy your cake and retire now!!

OLDMAN

April 24th, 2012
11:46 am

How about this for a REALLY BAD THING?What if Larry changes his mind and comes back to STEAL another 14 million next year?

Lowcountry Brave

April 24th, 2012
1:25 pm

Delgado is clearly a better option than Teheran at this point, but if you think he’s NOT a legitimate major league prospect, you are a clown; and a a stupid one at that.

Fats

April 24th, 2012
1:59 pm

Bones could get hot and bust the top 30 in all time homerun leaders. U can do it Bones

Ralph

April 24th, 2012
2:20 pm

He would have to play in 123 games in order to do that.

Ralph

April 24th, 2012
2:22 pm

DaveinNEPA
April 24th, 2012
8:40 amI wonder if it ever occured top our HOF 3bman that if he hadn’t rushed himself to get back in the lineup and let that knee heal a bit, he might not be getting so much pain now.

He would have to play in 123 games in order to do that.

larry(notLARRY)

April 24th, 2012
3:14 pm

Funny not a word frorm the moron Bill Pocaroba during the 10 out of 11 streak,what a loser

MiaBchBravesFan

April 24th, 2012
3:23 pm

FINALLY! Let’s hope for his sake that JJ get his stuff straightened out at Gwinnett. He has been simply atrocious.

Fats

April 24th, 2012
9:38 pm

Yeah that JJ couldnt throw a basketball in the ocean from a Carnival Cruise Liner. Sign his grandmother next youse guys in the front office

Fats

April 24th, 2012
9:40 pm

Oh yeah……………good point Ralph on Bones Jones. They brought him back too soon. Youse guys in the front office dont think long terms anymores

MDBravesFan

April 24th, 2012
11:28 pm

Happy Birthday Chipper – way to get us on the board!!

Samantha

May 1st, 2012
10:38 am

Good morning

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