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Chipper Jones has been cleared to swing a bat

Nov 22, 2010, 4:03 PM EDT

Chipper Jones Reuters

Chipper Jones — who I would have bet a good deal had his career ended with that torn ACL last summer — appears to be healing just fine: he’s been cleared to swing a bat and will likely be ready to go full speed once spring training begins.

We’re certainly in the twilight of the Chipper Jones era — and the days in which the Braves depended upon Jones to carry significant weight in the offense is over — but his health is still important to the Braves for strategic purposes. If he can man third, the Uggla-at-second, Prado-in-left scenario works out well enough.  If Jones can’t make it, Prado will have to play third and the Braves will find themselves in need of a left fielder. Again.

And if he does play, I wonder if Fredi Gonzalez will have the guts to move him to second in the order to take advantage of his still extant on-base skills and to place less pressure on him to hit for power.

  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 22, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    Chipper is so damn awesome. Great news.

  2. okobojicat - Nov 22, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    I find it interesting that there has been no push to move Chipper to first base. I understand that Freddie Freeman absolutely tore up AAA last year, and is a 1B, but with Chipper still on the roster and that pitching staff, they obviously think they are going to compete next year. There’s always a risk the 1B won’t hit. If Chipper gets hurt (and at this point, its not an if ) then they’ll end up moving Prado back to 3B and be hurting for a LF.

    Sign a quality LF (Johny Damon anyone) and have a roving platoon with Prado playing 3B, 2B, and 1B and with Chipper getting lots of days off and Freeman never hitting against lefties. That makes a lot more sense than putting Prado out in the OF.

    • Adam - Nov 28, 2010 at 12:48 AM

      I love the guy, but can you imagine Chipper stretching to catch an errant throw? The guy would tear both hamstrings.

  3. Chris Fiorentino's Rash - Nov 22, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    I think they would be better off trading for a true CF, moving McClouth left and making the tough decision to either trade Gonzalez or reduce him to a bench role with Prado at SS.

    • okobojicat - Nov 22, 2010 at 4:43 PM

      I don’t think anyone in the world thinks Prado can consistently play SS. 2B -1.6 UZR, 3B -1.9 UZR. If he’s having issues at those two positions where range is not as high as a priority, I don’t think they’ll move him to SS. Gonzalez is a very good defensive SS still and was still productive offensively. According to WAR, he was the 6th best SS last year.

      Now he’s older and more of a bet to tail off this year, but I really doubt Prado would provide more value at SS.

    • okobojicat - Nov 22, 2010 at 4:45 PM

      But yes, I agree with your statement a CF and moving McClouth would make more sense. McClouth’s defense has always been questionable at best.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 22, 2010 at 5:21 PM

      I agree with your name.

  4. Jonny 5 - Nov 22, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Know who’d be perfect out the in LF? Frenchie.

  5. nps6724 - Nov 22, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    I believe Fredi has already said Chipper will stay 3rd in the lineup at least to start.

  6. brianmatusz17 - Nov 23, 2010 at 2:49 AM

    whos frenchie?? and they coul always be in the crawford sweepstakes as atl has money

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