Clearwater, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Chipper Jones Set To Return From Disabled List

Chipper Jones, the longtime Braves third baseman, recently had arthroscopic knee surgery; he'll return to the Atlanta lineup on Tuesday.

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Chipper Jones Activated, To Return To Braves Lineup Tuesday

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who has already announced he will retire at the end of the 2012 season, had knee surgery for a torn meniscus just two weeks ago.

Tuesday, the team activated him from the disabled list, per SB Nation Atlanta:

The Hall of Fame third baseman was officially activated by the Braves on Tuesday afternoon, sending outfielder Jose Constanza back to Triple-A Gwinnett. With Atlanta starting the season 0-4 and the fan base slowly starting to lose faith, a rejuvenated Chipper should be huge for the lineup.

Fredi Gonzalez has not gave much insight into where he expects to bat Jones, but anywhere between spots No. 2 through 6 seem possible.

The "Hall of Fame" designation is a bit premature, because Chipper won't be eligible until five years after he retires, but the consensus among most baseball followers is that he could go in on the first ballot.

In the meantime, the Braves could use his bat. The 0-4 start is the worst for the team since 1988, when they started 0-10 on their way to a 106-loss season.

For more on the Braves, please visit Talking Chop.


Braves' Chipper Jones Expected To Return At Team's Home Opener

When the Atlanta BravesChipper Jones had arthroscopic surgery on a torn meniscus in his left knee on March 27, he was optimistic that he’d be able to return for the team’s home opener, which comes up this Friday, April 13.

It appears that Jones’ prediction will come true, or possibly even sooner. David O’Brien:

Jones is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, when the Braves play the second game of a three-game series at Houston. The home opener is Friday against Milwaukee.

“Definitely the home opener, based on [Friday’s] workout,” Gonzalez said, “and maybe even sooner than that. We’ll see what happens in the next couple of days with him.”

O’Brien also reports that although Jones could be sent on a rehab assignment for a couple of games, the Braves would only do that if Jones felt he needed that; otherwise they could activate him and use him off the bench until he was ready to start.

For more on the Braves, please visit Talking Chop and SB Nation Atlanta.


Chipper Jones Has Torn Meniscus, Will Have Arthroscopic Surgery

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones announced on Thursday that he’d retire from baseball at the end of the 2012 season. This gave him the opportunity to have a farewell tour, and perhaps reach some further statistical milestones on the way to induction in the Hall of Fame.

Just two days later, there’s a detour:

And what’s even stranger is how this happened:

Jones has had knee troubles before; they limited his play to 126 games in 2011 and 95 games in 2010. He’ll have three weeks to recover before Atlanta’s home opener against the Brewers on Friday, April 13.

For more on Chipper and the Braves, please visit Talking Chop and SB Nation Atlanta.


Why Chipper Jones Doesn't Get The Jeff Bagwell Treatment

Chipper Jones is very likely to go into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, despite playing the bulk of his career in the '90s and 2000s. Why?


Chipper Jones And Statistical Milestones

Entering the 2012 season, Chipper Jones has a .304/.402/.533 career line. As noted earlier in this StoryStream, the only players in major league history with as many or more plate appearances as Chipper who also have a lifetime batting average over .300, on-base percentage over .400, and slugging percentage over .500 are Tris Speaker, Babe Ruth, Mel Ott, Stan Musial and Ty Cobb. (Frank Thomas, with 92 fewer career PA than Chipper, also qualifies).

What would Chipper have to do to maintain his .300/.400/.500? We’ll assume, for the purpose of this exercise, that he’ll have the same number of plate appearances this year (512) that he had in 2011 (or, for the purpose of batting average and slugging percentage, the 455 at-bats he had last season).

The .500 slugging percentage is safe. Even if Chipper collects zero total bases in 2012 with 512 PA, his career slugging will still be .506.

To maintain a .300 or better batting average, Chipper will have to hit .221 in 455 at-bats (the same number he had in 2011). He’s never hit lower than .248 and last year he hit .275 — that seems safe, too.

His on-base percentage, close to .400 at .402, might be the most difficult one to keep up. With 512 PA, he’ll need to reach base 36 percent of the time.

Chipper’s OBP last season, .344, was the lowest of his career. However, in the two years before that, he posted OBPs of .381 and .388, which suggests .360 (actually, he needs to reach .361) is in reach.

Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle faced a similar challenge. Before his final season in 1968 he sported a .302 batting average. But he hit .237 in 1968, lowering his lifetime BA to .298.

Chipper can do it, but he’ll need to play well this season to keep that .300/.400/.500 line. Unless he gets hurt and hardly plays at all.


Chipper Jones: Easy Hall Of Fame Call

He wasn't Mike Schmidt, but otherwise Chipper Jones fits in nicely with history's greatest third basemen.


Chipper Jones: #1 Pick, #2 Draft Prospect

There's no one quite like Chipper Jones to remind us that baseball is a collection of millions of little decisions that add up to on-field events. In 1990, the consensus #2 prospect in the Rule 4 draft was Jones, a high-school shortstop from Florida. The consensus #1 prospect was a Texas right-hander named Todd Van Poppel, who was supposed to be Nolan Ryan after taking Roger Clemens pills.

The problem was that Van Poppel was a straight-A student who had dreams of pitching for the University of Texas. The Braves were interested:

''We were convinced he was going to school and that no amount of money would persuade him otherwise,'' (Bobby) Cox said. ''I was surprised he signed. We never would have given that much money to him.''

The Braves had to go to their backup plan, which was Chipper Jones. This isn't a unique story: The Astros got Craig Biggio because the Tigers liked Bill Henderson and Steve Pegues more; the Reds were so enamored of Chad Mottola that they passed on Derek Jeter in the top of the first round.

But while it's not that unusual that a consensus #1 pick doesn't go first overall because of money, it is unusual for the player chosen in his stead to have a Hall of Fame career and play almost 20 seasons with the same franchise. If Van Poppel were more of a generic lunkhead instead of a bright kid eager to go to college, or if the Braves threw caution (and money) to the wind, how many playoff appearances would the Braves have had between 1993 and 2002?

They had 13 in the Chipper Jones era, with a chance to increase that total this year. It's possible that Jones is the greatest contingency plan in the history of the amateur draft.

(Of course, if the Braves had signed Van Poppel, he'd probably still be in their rotation, trying for his 300th career win.)


Chipper Jones Announces He'll Retire At End Of 2012 Season

The longtime Braves third baseman says he'll hang up his spikes after this year.

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