Chipper feeling expected day-after soreness
When Chipper Jones arrived at the park today, his surgically-repaired left knee was providing the kind of pain he expected to feel the day after playing defense for the first time in nearly seven months.
As for most of the rest of his body parts, they seemed to be much sorer.
“I’m sore,” Jones said with a smirk and chuckle. “My hamstrings, my quads, everything.”
Even while saying that his hamstrings were “really barking”, Jones planned to serve as the designated hitter in Friday afternoon’s game against the Blue Jays at Disney.
While playing third base Thursday for the first time since tearing his left ACL on Aug. 10, Jones grabbed one pop fly and snared a grounder. That was the only action he saw during his four-inning stint at the hot corner.
But as his legs were reminding him Friday, they still felt the effects of him flexing his leg muscles with every pitch and pushing off either leg in reaction to every batted ball.
“You can’t simulate playing a game,” Jones said. “You can go out and work out and do everything you think is going to prepare you for a game and it just doesn’t work….During the game, you’re doing squat after squat after squat.”
While he would have appreciated the chance to avoid this “sore muscle” pain, Jones was pleased that his knee seemed to fine when he awoke Friday.
“The knee is fine,” Jones said. “I didn’t have any more or less fluid in my knee than I have any other morning.”
Jones will have a chance to watch Mike Minor pitch against the Blue Jays this afternoon. Meanwhile Martin Prado will be in Viera playing third base and getting a chance to see Brandon Beachy attempt to improve his positioning in the battle against Minor for the rotation’s fifth spot.
Earlier this week, Jones said he is among those who feel Beachy has a bright future. He likes the right-hander’s command and makeup.
Speaking of futures, the Braves have brought some of their top prospects over from Minor League camp to serve as extras in today’s game.
Well Todd Cunninghman, who was selected in the second round of last summer’s First-Year Player Draft, was going to serve as an extra until Eric Hinske was scratched from the lineup (vs. Blue Jays) Friday morning. Cunningham will make the start in left field.
One year after giving him a $1.6 million signing bonus, the Braves welcomed Edward Salcedo to the big league clubhouse to serve as one of the extras against the Blue Jays. The 19-year-old shortstop experienced some growing pains while hitting .197 in 54 games with Class A Rome last year.
Other extras vs. Blue Jays are infielders Phil Gosselin, Joe Leonard and outfielders David Rohm and Kyle Rose.
Matt Lipka, the club’s top selection in last summer’s First-Year Player Draft, will serve as one of the extras in Viera. Outfielders Cory Harrilchak and Adam Milligan and first baseman Joseph Terdoslavich fill out this group of extras.
There will be interest surrounding the battle Minor and Beachy are staging for the rotation’s fifth spot. But it will also be interesting to see how Craig Kimbrel fares today in Viera. The young reliever bounced back from a rough debut with a strong showing against the Red Sox Wednesday.
Kimbrel showed a pretty good fastball against the Red Sox Wednesday. But it appeared he’s still trying to find a feel for his breaking ball.
Braves general manager Frank Wren’s son Kyle has made good early impressions while serving as Georgia Tech’s starting centerfielder and leadoff hitter. Check out this wall-jarring catch he recently made against St. John’s.
TODAY’S LINEUP vs. Blue Jays
Mycal Jones 8
Alex Gonzalez 6
TODAY’S LINEUP @ Nats
Wilkin Ramirez DH
Diory Hernandez 6