Vivlamore reporting from Turner Field with your Braves report.
The Braves placed third baseman Chipper Jones on the 15-day disabled list with a left leg contusion following Friday’s game against the Nationals. The move is retroactive to Wednesday when Jones pinch-hit, his only appearance in the past seven games since suffering the injury in Tampa Bay on May 18th.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the Braves will call up a catcher to replace Jones on the roster. The team will announce the player Saturday. They are in need of a catcher after backup David Ross suffered a right groin strain during a second-inning at-bat Friday and is day-to-day. Ross started the past four games for Brian McCann, who was out with flu-like symptoms.
“It’s not getting better and we are starting to play a little bit short-handed,” Gonzalez said of placing Jones on the DL following the 7-4 loss to the Nationals. “It’s not fair for him and it’s not fair for the team.”
J.C. Boscan is a likely candidate to be re-called from Triple-A Gwinnett. The G-Braves are to begin a home-stand on Saturday. Boscan played four games for the Braves last season. He has experience catching the major-league staff from his time with the team in spring training. In 32 games for the G-Braves this season, Boscan is hitting .192 with two home runs and 12 RBIs.
Jones, 40, said the nasty bruise was taking much longer to heal than he originally expected. While Jones has been able to take batting practice, he said he could only run at 25-30 percent of full speed due to soreness in the area ranging from his foot to mid-calf from the bruising.
“If we had it to do all over again, I probably would not have pinch hit [Wednesday] in case I do need to go on the disabled list and they need a warm body up here that can play,” Jones said before Friday’s game.
Gonzalez said he has been assured by team trainers that Jones would not be able to play for the entire length of time he will be on the disabled list.
“They assured me it is going to be 15 days,” Gonzalez said. “It’s not going to be six days [and then he would be healthy enough to return]. It’s going to be the whole 15 days and maybe a little bit longer than that. You are talking 15 days plus six [more days already out of the lineup] without playing. It’s going to be a couple days of rehab also.”
Jones was injured when the Rays’ B.J. Upton hit a sharp one-hopper that skipped off the Tropicana Field artificial turf and struck Jones in the leg. Jones said it was the hardest he had ever been hit.
Ross will be re-evaluated on Saturday. Gonzalez said the catcher suffered a similar injury twice before. It may only require a few days rest in it’s not a full groin pull.
McCann, originally not in the starting lineup, replaced Ross. Gonzalez said the effect of the three-day illness on McCann was noticeable late in the game.
“The last four innings he barely made it through the game,” Gonzalez said.