Blog Entry

Don't count on Chipper Jones at first

Posted on: August 29, 2010 3:07 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2010 3:12 pm
Chipper Jones Most ex-third basemen coming off big injuries tend to make the move over to first base -- the Braves' Troy Glaus is the latest example, as is Boston's Mike Lowell.

Don't count on Chipper Jones joining them once he returns from rehabbing his left ACL. While Glaus isn't under contract for 2011, a combination of Jones' preferences plus a top prospect will keep the eventual Hall of Famer at third.

"I’m a left side of the infield guy," Jones told the Atlanta Journal Constitution . I’m just going to rehab like I’m going to go play third and if we’ve got to make adjustments, we make adjustments."

Jones last played on August 10, shelving him in a season where the Braves are angling to return to first place. In 381 plate appearances, the 1999 MVP hit .265/.381/.426 with 10 homers.

“I’ve said all along I’m going to play third until somebody in this organization proves to me they’re better than me,” Jones said.

That could very well be a member of the current team. Martin Prado, the team's normal second baseman, shifted to the hot corner to replace Jones. Prado is hitting .319/.363/.493 with 15 home runs and has established himself as a starting player. Taking Prado's place at second is All-Star utilityman Omar Infante, currently hitting at a .344/.376/.458 clip in 356 trips to the plate.

While Infante or Prado wouldn't displace Jones immediately in 2011, one of the two could end up the long-term replacement, especially if Infante continues his emergence. That's not now for Jones.

“As long as I feel like I’m the best third baseman in this organization, that’s where I want to be," Jones said, who once moved to left field to make room for free-agent import Vinny Castilla. "Then when somebody comes along and proves that to me, I’ll either move to another spot or ride off into the sunset.”

If it's to another spot, Jones may have to return to left as first may not even be an option. Top prospect Freddie Freeman is widely considered to be the starting first baseman in 2011 as the 20-year-old is currently handling Triple-A without any problems. In 510 PA, Freeman is hitting .323/.382/.529 with 18 home runs and may make his major-league debut in September.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 5:14 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 7:21 pm

Don't count on Chipper Jones at first

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Since: Jun 17, 2010
Posted on: August 30, 2010 6:32 pm

Don't count on Chipper Jones at first

BravesGurl and everyone else I agree with all of your perspective. Chipper is one of the finest Braves ever to grace Turner Field/Fulton County Stadium, but he has never spent a minute in the outfield and thats one option I don't look forward too. As for him replacing Terry Pendleton as hitting coach now thats an option because as it was stated earlier we need someone who could teach other switch hitters how to be successful from both sides of the plate. Now don't think I'm taking anything away from TP, but he was a one dimensional hitter. He could not hit successfully from both sides of the plate as well as Chipper. Here is another option and I know we all don't like to think of this option, but how bout trading him to the AL where he could be a DH because even though his fielding has diminished because of injuries the man can still hit for average and for power. Just think about it.

Since: Mar 10, 2008
Posted on: August 30, 2010 5:29 pm

Don't count on Chipper Jones at first

Getting a jump on the ball does require major stress on the knees, as does making strong throws from the outfield. So I think it's third or sunset for Chipper, as much as I hate to say it. But a championship this year may make everyone giddy enough not to care about how playing time is divvied up next year. Let's just hope that when his rehab is done he is capable of playing again in some role and with effectiveness. His ability to get back isn't a given.

Since: Sep 3, 2008
Posted on: August 30, 2010 3:04 pm

Don't count on Chipper Jones at first

The next time you hear of Chipper Jones saying anything playing for the $ would be the first time.
I do agree.  His health is not great. Never has been though.

Prado is a much better fielder, and has the arm for 3b. There is no Kid in the Minors anywhere near MLB ready.
Conrad and Infante are decent subs, but not everyday 3b'ers. Judging by the current options, the way the lineup goes nightly now is the best. Prado at 3b, Infante at 2b. Both are playing great.
Get Hinske and Glaus to work on 3b shape for next season. Bring them in on one year contracts and see what shakes out.
The current Braves line-up needs some power, and with this line-up it must come from 3b. Or the Mystery power must come from the OF'er TBA. No one on the team is going to hit 35. Heyward may one day. (I bet he will!) It's a balanced power act right now. Prado is likely AT the  highest number of HR's he will ever hit. He's just not built for that kinda numbers. Infante doesn't have a 3b arm. Conrad is not an everyday guy. Glaus has been an All-Star 3b, though his body might have given up on that kinda duress. Hinske was ROY at 3b, though he is now built more for 1b, OF, DH, PH.
Chipper, if he can come back at least where he was the last two years, is the best option currently under contract.

He IS the kind've player that is a throwback. Maybe even a throwback to the era of "Player-Managers", in my opinion.

The kind've attack from Slammin6 is just not justified or warranted towards the (end of?) career of Chipper.

Since: Sep 3, 2008
Posted on: August 30, 2010 2:44 pm

Don't count on Chipper Jones at first

Dear Chipper -

Rehab to the best of your ability and a spot on the team will be there for you. At this stage in your career you have earned the right to state things such as "If I am not the best option at 3b, I will ride off into the sunset" and not make a switch to another position. During your tenure as the 3b'er in ATL, the minors were restocked everywhere except at 3b, in deference to you as the unofficial Captain of the Braves team.
WE would love to get the chance to see you one last season, or more if you are up to it.
Look to 2011 with an open mind on 1b, even as a once a week deal, as it is still an important spot on the diamond, just requires a little less wear and tear on the legs day-in, day-out.

All the best,

TRUE Braves Fans

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: August 30, 2010 9:12 am

Don't count on Chipper Jones at first

Dear Larry-

Wow talk about arrogance, you are no longer a juiced up hitting machine.  Check the mirroe Chip it shows a broken down shell of a player who can no longer go two straight weeks without missing time to injuries of all sorts.  You don`t own or run the organization and the current roster has a much better fielder in Prado proving to be what is needed at the hot corner.  Try closing your mouth, working extra hard in rehab and first base.  That attitude along with not wanting to leave million$ on the table just might produce one more good season.

Braves Fans 

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: August 30, 2010 7:59 am

Don't count on Chipper Jones at first

If your a Braves fan...i'd probably take Chipper at the plate in any situation with the game on the line..

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: August 30, 2010 2:45 am

Don't count on Chipper Jones at first

Well, you can't shoot a guy down for not being a star for one. Second, he was in a funk before the concussion and that is an unknown factor. Can he play ball? Sure. No one makes it to the Majors that is a complete waste etc. So, if he gets another shot hopefully he deserves it. The guy had like 75 extra base hits just 2 years ago.

That's like saying Atlanta shouldn't have traded for Ankiel or Farnsworth. You are always going to take gambles. Nate is on the entry side of 'prime', unlike the other players that don't really have much in the way of a ceiling to grow as players like a Cabrera. Would you draft Nate for fantasy, though? Of course not. Cool

Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: August 29, 2010 10:36 pm

Don't count on Chipper Jones at first

Please don't mention McLouth as an option in the OF...hopefully that experiment is over.

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