On Saturday, Chipper Jones announced that he would need surgery on a torn meniscus.
DUNEDIN, Fla. — Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones will miss the start of his farewell season.
Two days after Jones announced this will be his final year, the Braves said Saturday that Jones needs arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his left knee.
The procedure will be performed Monday. The 39-year-old Jones will open the season on the disabled list, but the team expects him to miss only the first six games. General manager Frank Wren said Jones should return in time for the April 13 home opener.
Martin Prado, normally the team’s starting left fielder, will move to the infield until Jones returns. Wren said he’s not looking to make a trade for help at third base or in the outfield.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he’ll be cautious not to rush Jones back.
“I’m thinking, just being common sense, that this may take a little longer,” Gonzalez said after a spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays. “We’ve got to get him back in shape and swinging the bat.”
Jones missed about 2 1/2 weeks last season after having arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee. This is just the latest in a string of injuries that persuaded him to retire after one more season. He turns 40 next month.
“The last time he had surgery … it took only about 17 days to get him back on the field. Of course, that being said, he had played for 2 1/2 months. He wasn’t that far out of rhythm or out of shape,” Gonzalez said. “But knowing him, If it’s not right on17 days, it may be 21. He knows his body. He doesn’t take very long to get his rhythm going at the plate.”
With Prado starting the season at third base, the Braves could turn to Matt Diaz or Eric Hinske in left field. Jones’ injury also could create an opportunity for Jose Constanza or Jordan Parraz.
None are likely to match Jones’ numbers. Last season, he hit .275 with 18 homers and 70 RBI.
“He’s a big presence on the field and in the lineup (but) we’ve got plenty of guys who can pick up the slack,” Gonzalez said.
BLUE JAYS 9, BRAVES 0: Adam Lind has been trying to be more patient at the plate, and his work paid off Saturday when he hit a three-run homer and run-scoring triple in Toronto’s rout of the Atlanta Braves.
Each of Lind’s big hits came after he had fouled off four or more pitches from Randall Delgado, waiting for the right offering.
Competing for the last spot in the Braves’ starting rotation, Delgado allowed eight runs — five earned — and 10 hits in four innings. He gave up third-inning singles to Omar Vizquel and Yunel Escobar, and Lind drove the ball to right for his first spring training home run.
Two singles and an error in the fourth loaded the bases for Kelly Johnson, who cleared them with a double off the center-field wall. Lind followed with a wind-blown, two-out triple to right, then scored on Eric Thames’ double.
Before Johnson’s triple, Josh Wilson allowed Travis Snyder’s hard-hit grounder to bounce off him, the the ball bounding high and landing behind the second baseman.
“You can’t assume a double play,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, “ but if we make that play behind him, it might be a different inning. Still, he’s got to learn how to get through those innings. But at the end of the day I think he did pitch a little better than what the linescore showed.”
Henderson Alvarez allowed one hit in scoreless five innings, struck out four and walked none.
NOTES: Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie, out since March 16 with tightness in his left groin, could play Sunday, according to Farrell. ... Toronto OF Ben Francisco, who strained his left hamstring in Friday’s win over the Rays, “feels better than what he thought he would,” Farrell said. “He’s obviously out. How long is yet to be determined.” ... The Blue Jays reassigned OF Antony Gose and RHPs Jesse Chavez, Drew Carpenter and Robert Coello to their minor league camp.