Chipper Jones has been one of Atlanta’s most durable players in recent years. Now, the Braves have been forced to adjust to life without their star left fielder.
With Jones on the disabled list for the first time in more than eight years, the Braves continue their three-game series with the San Francisco Giants at SBC Park.
On Monday, the Braves placed Jones on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 19, with a strained right hamstring.
Jones, who had not been on the DL since March 22-April 6, 1996, missed two games after hurting the hamstring on April 11 and then re-injured it chasing down a fly ball on April 18 in a 3-2 win over Florida. He has not played since.
The Braves originally decided not to place Jones on the DL, but with outfielder Eli Marrero out with the flu and first baseman Julio Franco not expected to play until at least Wednesday because of an inner-ear infection, they needed another healthy player.
Atlanta recalled infielder Mike Hessman from Triple-A Richmond to take Jones’ roster spot.
“With all the other guys not available, it puts pressure on me to play (Jones), put him in there,” manager Bobby Cox said. “The easiest way to do it is bring somebody else up so I don’t have to do it.”
Jones has taken batting practice the last few days and reported no problems, but after running on Sunday he said he “can’t push it more than a controlled jog.”
“I’ve never had a pull this bad,” Jones added. “I’m no good for the team if I come back early and re-hurt it. It’s a situation you have to err on the side of caution. … While I could be a threat late in the ballgame, I’m not a nine-inning threat. That does us no good.”
Ray Durham tripled and knocked in a run for the Giants, who have won just two of their last seven.
With four games left in April, San Francisco is in danger of having its major league-leading streak of consecutive months with a winning record end at 17. The Giants have not finished at or below .500 in a month since May 2001.