Chipper still weighing options about his future
Jones’ father Larry Jones told the Florida Times-Union, “Those people that are talking about him being done,he ain’t done.” Those who know Chipper best realize that this isn’t the way he wants to say goodbye to his Hall of Fame-caliber career. At the same time, I’ll count myself among those of you who believe he deserves a much more fitting goodbye.
But before committing himself to the grueling six-month rehab process that he would face, Jones will first take time to talk to members of the Braves medical staff this afternoon to gain a better sense of what he is facing.
Because this is the second time that Jones has torn the ACL in his left knee, it will be more difficult to find the graft needed to fix the ligament. His left patellar tendon (kneecap) is no longer an option. It was used to repair the ligament, when he suffered this same injury before the start of the 1994 season.
If they were to use his right patellar tendon, he would enter the 2011 season with two faulty knees and possibly set himself up to endure many more problems during his post-playing days.
Once Jones learns of all of his options and the potential setbacks, he’ll have the opportunity to determine whether it’s in his best interest to attempt to continue playing.
When he was talking about retirement in June, he said that he would walk away if he felt he was no longer an integral part of the lineup. Over the past two months, he proved that he still had the capability to be a key ingredient to the Braves success.
But you can’t blame Jones for wondering whether he’ll be able to return from this surgery and still be able to provide his desired production next year at the age of 39.
What to do: When asked yesterday about how he planned to react to the fact that Chipper Jones won’t be available for the remainder of this season, Braves general manager Frank Wren attempted to soften the blow by pointing out that manager Bobby Cox can now put two All-Stars in his infield on a daily basis.
“When we get Martin Prado back, it will mean inserting two All-Stars into the lineup, he and Omar Infante,” Wren said. “I’m not sure we’ll find anything better than that on the marketplace.”
The Marlins are planning to sign Dan Uggla to a multi-year deal. In other words, if they were to trade him to the Braves, we’d probably soon be seeing Julio Teheran sitting in the same starting rotation as Josh Johnson.
The Braves talked to the Mariners about trading for Chone Figgins before the July 31 trade deadline. At the time, they were hoping Seattle’s Japanese ownership might be willing to deal their bad contract for the one that has padded Kenshin Kawakami’s bank account.
With former manager Don Wakamatsu gone, Figgins is happy and proving to be productive at the plate once again. At the same time, with Kris Medlen done for the rest of the season, the Braves are no longer in a position where they can trade the insurance that Kawakami provides.
There have been rumors linking the Braves to Orioles third baseman Ty Wigginton. But early indications are that the Braves aren’t going to add an everyday player via trade.
But with Diory Hernandez and Brandon Hicks now situated to serve as the only backup shortstops, it seems they do have a need to at least find a better option to fill this role that Infante has capably handled since arriving in Atlanta.
While hitting .366 (41-for-112) in the 32 games (24 starts) he’s played dating back to the start of July, Infante has provided further reason to believe he could be a reliable everyday player. But the sole reason he was given this All-Star status was the fact that his greatest value comes from his ability to be available to play a number of different positions.
With Prado playing third base and Infante playing second base during the season’s final six weeks, the Braves have reason to believe they would still have a solid infield. But if either of these guys or Alex Gonzalez suffers an injury, there will be a gaping hole in the lineup.