Chipper returns and Teheran aims to bounce back
Chipper Jones will be back at third base to play the Mets at Disney and Julio Teheran will attempt to rebound from his six-homer outing while facing the Yankees in a game that will be shown at 1 p.m. ET on MLB.TV and MLB Network. This is already shaping up to be an eventful day for the Braves.
While Teheran is in Tampa facing the Yankees, Randall Delgado will be attempting to rebound from his own rough debut as he faces the Mets at Disney. It will be interesting to see how both of these young prospects bounce back from the forgettable debuts they produced against the Tigers on Sunday.
Before Teheran allowed six home runs in two innings, Delgado allowed four runs and completed just one of the two innings he had been scheduled to pitch. As I said earlier this week, it’s not a bad thing that both of these prospects were forced to eat some humble pie. Now it will be interesting to see how they digest it.
Jones will be playing for the first time since he experienced some soreness in the upper portion of his right leg during last Saturday’s Grapefruit League debut. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez had him scheduled to serve as the designated hitter against the Mets. But the 39-year-old veteran told Gonzalez he was ready to play third base.
“I want to get some reps on defense,” Jones said. “I don’t want to lose touch with the speed of the game. I hate DH-ing too. There’s no better way to get me to go 0-for-3 than to put me at DH.”
Jones will still have plenty of time to compile the 40-50 at-bats he believes he will need to find comfort from both sides of the plate before the regular season begins.
“The main thing is I make it out (of camp) healthy and the team makes it out (of camp) healthy,” Jones said. “That’s all I’m really concerned about.”
Sticking with the injury-related front, Tommy Hanson is looking forward to the chance to make his exhibition season debut on Sunday in the split-squad game against the Blue Jays in Disney. This will mark the first time Hanson had pitched in a competitive atmosphere since his right shoulder sidelined him in early August.
“I’m excited,” Hanson said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in a game after missing the last two months last year and then obviously this year, I got off to a little bit of a slower start.”
Sunday’s game will provide Hanson a chance to utilize his “altered delivery” against opposing hitters for the first time. The 25-year-old hurler altered his delivery in January to lessen the strain on his shoulder and provide him some defense against potential base stealers.
“It’s not the new delivery any more,” Hanson said. “I’ve been doing it for a while. So it doesn’t feel new anymore. It feels like I’ve been doing it. So I wouldn’t say I’m anxious to try out the new delivery. I’m just anxious to get out there and pitch again.”
Let’s wrap this up with Jones’ thoughts on how the first week of the exhibition season has progressed:
“For whatever reason, we haven’t pitched particularly well down here and we haven’t hit particularly well. But give the guys a time or two through the rotation to get their feet wet out there on the mound. You see some of the guys in the bullpen have struggled. That’s going to happen the first time or two out. We haven’t had the lineup all together really with the exception of the first game. So the lack of production down here is kind of a mirage. But I don’t care how we’re swinging it the first week, I care how we’re swinging it the last five or six games. That’s what is important to me. If these guys take three or four weeks to get going, that’s OK as long as they get going before April gets here.”
BRAVES LINEUP vs. Mets
BRAVES LINEUP @ Yankees