In a season where there have been almost no positives to date, the Atlanta Braves seem to have gotten one. Chipper Jones is expected to make his season debut today. No corresponding roster move has yet to be announced but it is expected that Jose Constanza will be sent down.
This is nice news for the 0-4 Braves but you need to temper expectations. Jones is 40. He is not the saviour. He is a piece to the puzzle that will see a better team (there aren’t many people who will rather Constanza over Jones, if any.) The Braves are in a team-wide slump right now, and it isn’t being helped by weird bullpen usage and untimely struggles. This might be the jump they need, because they need to start to turn things around quickly.
Jones coming off the DL will see less time for Matt Diaz and Juan Francisco, but it will give the Braves more options off the bench for pinch hitting opportunities late in games. With those two on the bench they have a pretty good option against righties and lefties and that doesn’t even include Eric Hinske who is probably Fredi Gonzalez’s first choice in those situations.
Maybe having Jones in the room and the dugout will be just what the Braves need. Braves fans hope so anyways, because picturing him making no difference would just be even more depressing giving the current state of the team.
The Braves will have a good chance to get off of the snide today with Tommy Hanson going up against Kyle Weiland. The latter is making his first start for the Astros after being traded from the Red Sox for Mark Melancon.