Chipper misses third start in row, probably “a day or two away”

CINCINNATI – In this week’s series against the Braves, the Reds will pay tribute to Atlanta’s retiring third baseman by using special bases adorned with side panels that bear the message, “Celebrating the career of No. 10 Chipper Jones.”

Jones just hopes his injured leg will heal quickly enough so he might step on those bases during a game or two in the four-game series.

scaledHe was out of the lineup for Monday’s series opener, the third start he’s missed since sustaining a severe contusion above the left ankle when hit by a hard one-hopper off the bat of Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton on Friday.

“It’s a little better,” Jones said Monday afternoon, with swelling still apparent from the rise of a tight brown wrap he had around the injury. “I still feel like I’m probably a day or two away. I have a golf-ball sized blister right there that has got to go away. If I were to foul a ball off of that right now, you might as well just dig a hole and bury be right there at home plate. I’m not getting up.”

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Saturday that he hoped Jones would be ready to play by Monday. However, after seeing the steady but slow progress of the healing and discussing the injury with Braves trainers, Gonzalez said it was important for Jones not to push this one and come back too quickly.

“I’m hopeful by the end of the series here,” Gonzalez said.

Jones said, “It’s still really painful and my range of motion is not good enough to be able to go out there and play defense and run the bases and all that kind of stuff. I’m hopeful that the last game or two of the series I’ll be able to get in there at some point.”

Pinch-hitting duty also wasn’t an option, at least not Monday.

“I mean it’s just not well enough,” Jones said. “You think about it, batting right-handed I expose that to a foul ball off of it. And it’s my push-off foot and leg batting left-handed. It’s just not well enough yet to be able to do those things.”

When Jones does return, he has been instructed to wear a shin guard to protect the area. He said he’d wear one the rest of the season.

Unique tribute from Reds

The long four-game series should at least give him a better chance of getting in a game, perhaps the finale Thursday, after which the Reds are expected to present one of the three special bases to Jones. Another will be sent to the Braves Hall of Fame, and one will go in the Reds Hall of Fame.

“Very cool,” Jones said of the Reds’ gesture. “And it’s unique. Something that I never would have thought of, but it’s awfully nice and very classy of the Reds organization to do that. It’s not expected, but I look forward to getting out there and looking at the bases and hopefully rounding them once or twice. Who knows. We’ll see.”

In 122 games against the Reds, Jones had a .297 career average with 21 home runs, 81 RBIs, a .384 on-base percentage and a .524 slugging percentage. In 20 games at Great American Ball Park, he’s a robust 27-for-81 (.333) with 10 extra-base hits including three homers.

Jones was asked how he’d been treated over the years by Cincinnati fans.

“I remember really only one instance where I was standing in left field here and somebody threw a beer bottle from the upper deck,” he said. “That was a little hairy. But there’s one bad apple in every bunch, and I’m not going to say that one person’s hatred for me ruin how I think about everybody else. These are great fans in Cincinnati.”

He’s been honored with at least a video tribute at every ballpark the Braves have visited where it’s their last scheduled series, including Houston, Los Angeles, Arizona, Colorado, Chicago, St. Louis and Tampa Bay. During Sunday’s series finale against the Rays, he got a standing ovation and came out of the dugout to tip his cap to the crowd as a video tribute played on the scoreboard with a message of honoring one of “Florida’s favorite sons.”

“I really don’t know how to react to what’s going on,” Jones said. “It’s hard for me to put into words. Obviously most places I’ve gone throughout the course of my career I’ve gotten booed. A lot of hate and all that kind of stuff. Like yesterday in Tampa, when I step out of the dugout and see everybody standing and clapping, it’s really shocking. But much appreciated.”

33 comments Add your comment

Falcons4Eva

May 21st, 2012
8:25 pm

Are you kidding me Minor? What are you doing? Freddie must be sleep at the wheel again, or writing his “Tip your cap’ post game speach…

SMH

Tom

May 21st, 2012
8:27 pm

This guy should take himself out and walk to Gwinnett

BravesfaninWis

May 21st, 2012
8:34 pm

Mike Minor is a waste. Seriously dude, 4 homeruns allowed, 1 by the opposing pitcher all with 2 outs? Then Joe Simpson tries to make a excuse for him and compares his stats to Tom Glavine’s? Minor is not worthy enough to lace Glavine’s spikes for him. Between Minor, Jurrjens, and Delgado, this team doesn’t have a chance if/when they get to the playoffs. That putz is lucky its only a 3 run game. If the Braves win this game, it sure won’t be because of Minor and his noodle for an arm.

ugafan13

May 21st, 2012
8:43 pm

What has happened to Hayward? He has fallen off again and just hitting .245. They have found the hole in his swing again!

go-BRAVOS

May 21st, 2012
9:12 pm

Minor has got jut 30 or so starts for his career. We shouldn’t give up on him just yet, I mean Fredi kept sending DLowe out there last year and he was just as bad. If the Braves traded Minor and he went to another team and turned it around the same people calling for his head would be blasting the Braves for trading him away.
It sucks that he’s struggling but I think a little patience is in order. He has shown that he has the ability to be productive, he’s a rookie what do you expect.

Go Braves!

Metro Coach

May 21st, 2012
9:16 pm

Who’s this Hayward guy you’re whining about? I think you should be able to spell a player’s name if you’re going to complain about how they are playing.

extremus

May 21st, 2012
9:22 pm

Time for Mike Minor to head to the leagues which bear his name. Sorry, but young pitcher or not you can’t allow any pitcher to become the next Derek Lowe or Kenshin Kawakami in the Braves’ rotation (meaning a near-automatic loss every fifth day). Send him down or at least swap his role on the team with Medlen; maybe he’d do better as a long relief pitcher. Either way he’s clearly not getting the job done where he’s at.

As for Heyward, it seems that he consistently regresses into bad habits over the course of a season. He started off doing everything right (as he did during all of Spring Training last year and in 2010 up until his thumb injury), but for some mysterious reason the exact same flaws keep reappearing (swinging at pitches at his shoetops and just plain looking lost at the plate). Every player has slumps, but the cyclical kind where 50-plus points come off your batting average time and again mean you’re a liability. I believe this is a make-or-break year for Heyward’s career as a Brave and maybe as a MLB player, period. If he’s allowed to see his average plummet for much longer I think it’s safe to say the latest right field “can’t miss” experiment will be over; at least the notion he would ever be a superstar in this league will certainly be.

No Flag Since Lemke

May 21st, 2012
9:28 pm

Seen this TV show several times over. Like Pan Am, Rob and other season’s flops. It’s time to cancel and move on.

Michael G.

May 21st, 2012
9:45 pm

Mr. O’Brien- will you please tell us again how Mike Minor is the next Tom Glavine? Oh, how I love hearing the stories you tell! ha ha ha!

JNick

May 21st, 2012
9:53 pm

Starting to think the Braves need to let David Ross catch Minor and Delgado, in addition to Hudson…he’s obviously the better receiver and could probably call a better game for the two kids.

JNick

May 21st, 2012
9:54 pm

Is Sean Gilmartin ready yet?

Bob From Cobb

May 21st, 2012
9:54 pm

And the reason for leaving Minor in to let him give up another home run,four total is? C’mon,Freddie. Ship the boy back to the league that bears his name before he does further damage.The Braves need Mike Minor as a starter like Custer needed more Indians! Mike Minor’s name translated into Japenese is Kenshin Kawakami !

sports

May 21st, 2012
9:55 pm

what a joke, paying this knothead these millions and him sitting on his @ss

JNick

May 21st, 2012
10:18 pm

Knothead? You think Chipper doesn’t want to play and enjoys sitting on the bench? Show a little respect…

JNick

May 21st, 2012
10:21 pm

I’m curious what gives you the qualifications to insult a sure-fire 1st ballot Hall of Famer, a guy who has played his entire career with the same team, who took a pay cut and restructured his contract so the Braves could sign Tim Hudson, who’s worked to come back from not one, but two ACL injuries that have bookended his career – all while putting up numbers that rank him among the top 3 switch hitters and 3rd basemen of all time? Or are you just a “knothead”?

BravesfaninWis

May 21st, 2012
10:27 pm

No heart tonight at all. The offense left their bats in Tampa, and Minor left his arm in Atlanta. They can’t win every game, but its plain as day that Minor is back to being that useless pitcher he was a year ago and involved in trade talks. His first few starts of this season he had everyone fooled. The Braves can only go as far as their pitching will take them, and aside from Beachy and Huddy, I don’t see their pitching taking them that far, they are all way to inconsistent.

JNick

May 21st, 2012
10:37 pm

Hate to agree with you – but you’re right BravesfaninWis. Doesn’t seem to be any fire, from the manager on down. Hinske was called out on strikes (well, if you can call them that, FoxTrax showed differently) – why wasn’t Fredi out there arguing? That’s the least he could do…but then they show the dugout cam and you see guys just sitting there, looking gloomy, chewing on sunflower seeds….sometimes they just look so lifeless.

fsubravo

May 22nd, 2012
6:57 am

Minor needs to be in the minor leagues, while Medlen is moved back to the rotation. Chipper is unreliable..he is making alot of money for someone that plays maybe 2 or 3 games a week…this is hamstrining this team..he an still hit, but so can many others in his price range and they can play every day as well….

GT71

May 22nd, 2012
7:39 am

Perhaps some of all that adulation of Chipper Jones is relief he won’t be beating their tails on the field anymore. Most of it is tribute to as fine a ballplayer as we’ve seen, but quite a lot of it is pure relief. Bless their hearts.

Sammy

May 22nd, 2012
7:49 am

Here’s another vote for Medlen to be put back in the rotation. He was usually decent and he will probably get even better.

jt

May 22nd, 2012
8:06 am

Why do we give these guys like Minor all of these chances, when down the stretch the Braves will need these games in the win column. Seems like the rest of the team, just mails it in when we have a pitcher like Minor on mound. Same ole Braves!!! Different year. Come on, 4 home runs in one game??????

the Yog

May 22nd, 2012
8:25 am

I remember when Glavine first came up. He got shelled pretty good in the beginning. He turned out pretty good don’t you think?
Give Minor a break guys..He is a keeper.

GaDawg

May 22nd, 2012
8:31 am

Minor has had his chances up to this point. Confidence is shot, send him back to Gwinnett and sign Roy Oswalt. He is sitting out there for the taking.

Jack in Macon

May 22nd, 2012
9:15 am

If we want to play in the World Series this year we’ve got to win our Division. The wild card playoff is a crap shoot. One great pitching performance by the other team and the season is over. Washington is a team on the rise. They look like the second coming of the Braves of the ’90’s. Next year and maybe a couple more years to follow the Braves will be in a rebuilding mode.

If the Braves believe Oswalt can truly win games then they need to sign him and let Minor’s development in the majors wait another year. At this point Delgado has more upside and Medlen needs to stay in the pen.

just sayin'

May 22nd, 2012
9:58 am

these guys saw the short fences in this park and swung for the fences…no ’situational’ hitting…no ‘just get on base’ swings…little league players are taught to ‘get the bat on the ball’…why can’t these guys do the same thing…get paid millions..not just to hit home runs but to WIN….

coach13

May 22nd, 2012
10:08 am

They left him in there because he’s going to have to figure it out at some point. Plus, you cannot tax the pen on the 1st night of a 4 game series unless you have to.

ThatWasFunny

May 22nd, 2012
10:44 am

Somebody said something about us playing in the World Series this year…..now THAT was funny!!!

David O'Brien

May 22nd, 2012
10:56 am

Somebody said something about us playing in the World Series this year…..now THAT was funny!!! — ThatWasFunny

Yeah, can you imagine someone thinking the team with the second-best record in the league on May 22 might make the World Series? Hilarious. Oh, man. Side-splitting laughter. Everyone knows the teams with their respective league’s best records on May 22 advance to the World Series.

Bravefaninok

May 22nd, 2012
12:09 pm

Jack in Macon

May 22nd, 2012
9:15 am

If we want to play in the World Series this year we’ve got to win our Division. The wild card playoff is a crap shoot. One great pitching performance by the other team and the season is over. Washington is a team on the rise. They look like the second coming of the Braves of the ’90’s. Next year and maybe a couple more years to follow the Braves will be in a rebuilding mode.

Jack the Braves have 3 22yr old kids starting everyday,Huddy is the only Starter over 26yrs old,The Braves have been rebuilding.The amazing thing is they have managed to stay competative while doing it.

James Toolin

May 22nd, 2012
1:11 pm

I feel something big on Chipper’s return. So far it’s been days off and HR on the day back! Caution opponents!

Mikey

May 22nd, 2012
3:44 pm

Scoring one run in a small ball park and you guys are complaining about Minor???

Goober McDreamy

May 22nd, 2012
6:28 pm

Oh me Oh my! Chipper out again? what now an infected toe nail?twisted testicle? did he break a hair in his lft nut?

Brickhead OKelly

May 22nd, 2012
11:39 pm

Goober said it best…………………..I am wondering if we should call him “NO SHOW” Jones from now on.:)

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