The news came in late this morning that Chipper Jones has a torn ACL, according to his agent. He had the MRI this morning and Chipper texted his agent the results. He could seek a second opinion but the worst possible scenario seems to have happened.
With Chipper hinting at retirement more than once, it’s quite possible we have seen him for the last time on a field. But there’s no reason to get ahead of ourselves yet. Especially considering how competitive he is and the fact that he has been hitting well lately. In any case, we have lost our three-hole hitter who was at the time the hottest hitter on a struggling offense. This is a major blow.
Obviously (hopefully) the Braves don’t intend to play Brooks Conrad every day on a playoff chasing team. Freddie Freeman‘s name immediately comes to mind as a potential bat to replace Chipper’s, but it doesn’t solve the problem of filling the third base hole. Troy Glaus can barely get around first base much less third now and there isn’t an everyday solution in AAA. It is possible we could see either Freeman or Glaus at first, Omar Infante at second, and Martin Prado at third.
We will post more news as it comes in and more scenarios will run through our minds, I’m sure.
EDIT: A series of quotes from Frank Wren have been posted regarding Chipper’s injury. A few highlights:
“I think it’s one we’re going to have to talk a lot about. When we get Martin Prado back, it’ll mean inserting two All-Stars into the lineup, he and Omar Infante. So I’m not sure we’ll find anything better than that out on the market place. There is a lot of discussion that will need to take place. The other part is the number of players who have already gone through waivers and have either been claimed or blocked – that complicates it some.”
“I don’t think that’s a question for this point. Chipper was playing very well and was enjoying his time. As we did the other day, when this all started, we’ll wait until after the season to make those kind of determinations and let Chipper decide what his future holds, but I think he’s dedicated to rehabbing and getting ready for next year.”
Safe to say Glaus is not an option over there?
“Yes. I don’t think Troy at this point, based on the health of his legs, that that makes a lot of sense to put him over there and put him in that position.”
On whether this injury changes Freddie Freeman’s timetable:
“No, not necessarily because it doesn’t really change our first base situation at all. So I don’t think that really fits into the equation at this point in the season.”
The reason I had originally named Freeman is in case the Braves wanted to try to catch a hot bat at the moment, but I’m not at all surprised to see Wren’s plans for Freeman staying the same. The Braves appear committed to Glaus at first base.
Braves management will meet Friday to discuss the situation going forward. The overall consensus is moving Prado to third and keeping Infante at second, and Wren seemed to back that up with his first quote above. There’s just not much in the market to consider replacing him externally.