Chipper Jones isn’t ruling out a return to the lineup Sunday against the Pirates, but his surgically-repaired left knee is bothering him enough that he might need another day off.
The Braves are hoping by giving him a day or two off here and there, Jones can stay fresh enough to play consistently. It’s worked well enough so far, as he’s hit 12-for-41 (.293) with three home runs in the 13 games he’s been able to play.
But Jones said his knee is bothering him to the point where he might not be able to play a full nine innings when he does play.
“Ever since (Friday) night about the seventh or eighth inning, it’s been really, really bad,” Jones said. “I don’t know what the prognosis is. I don’t know why it’s hurting the way it is. But if it continues to affect me the way it is, I can’t go out there and play nine innings. I can’t do it.”
Still, Jones said with the right about of improvement, he’ll play Sunday.
“If I wake up and I come in and I have a minimal amount of fluid and they can give me something for that joint pain, I’ll play,” Jones said Saturday night. “But I would have had a hard time going out there tonight.”
Gearrin headed to Triple-A
The Braves ended any speculation that they might send rookie starter Randall Delgado to Triple-A when Tim Hudson returns from the disabled list on Sunday. They announced Saturday night they will option reliever Cory Gearrin to Triple-A Gwinnett before Sunday’s game and reiterated their plans to keep Delgado in the rotation.
“There’s something to keep working towards with him,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Delgado. “…The little I know him from last year and all this year, he’s going to be OK. He’s going to use these last two outings as an experience and a builder and keep going forward.”
Delgado, now 2-2 with a 6.30 ERA, has lost his last two starts while giving up nine runs in 9 2/3 innings.
Gearrin, meanwhile, did not pitch in the four games he spent up after the Braves recalled him when they sent Jair Jurrjens to Triple-A on Monday night. Gearrin has pitched 12 1/3 scoreless innings for Gwinnett, with 15 strikeouts and only two walks.
“Gearrin has been pitching lights out in Triple-A,” Gonzalez said. “So go back down keeping pitching that way and if we need him again, it’ll be an easy decision.”