Braves Off Day News and Notes
By Editorial Staff
With a Braves off day today it is time to take a look around the reservation at some of the news and notes over the last week.
Since talking retirement Chipper Jones has been on fire. To the tune of a .500 batting average (8-16). He had two hits on Sunday including the game tying hit in the sixth inning. Jones says that he has shortened his swing and the results have been positive.
"“Just being a little more handsy with my swing,” Jones said. “A lot of times I get sweepy and long and big. Just trying to be shorter, and to be shorter is to use your hands.”"
All signs indicate a Chipper announcement immediately following the season. I don’t think it is possible that it gets announced during the season but I also don’t think that he will make the Braves wait around long during the off season. Once he does decide to hang it up it will close the book on one of the greatest careers for a third baseman and switch hitter ever. Chipper is probably the kind of player that you won’t completely appreciate until he is gone.
Jair Jurrjens made his second rehab start for Triple A Gwinnett on Saturday. After walking four batters in just 2+ innings during his first start he only walked 1 in 4.1 innings on Saturday. Jurrjens is a guy that likes to pound the strike zone so seeing his control improve is a good thing. Jurrjens still not was completely pleased with his performance on Saturday.
"“Actually, I was expecting more from myself,” said Jurrjens, after giving up eight hits to the Chiefs. “I was trying to go deeper in the game. I still have some tune-up to do in the next one to get ready to get back to the big team.”"
Jurrjens will make one more rehab start on Thursday before returning to the Atlanta rotation.
Once Jurrjens is ready to return to the rotation the Braves will have to make a decision on who to drop from the rotation. Kenshin Kawakami seems to be the logical choice. Kawakami has struggled to the tune of an 0-9 record with a 4.78 ERA. He has had some bad luck along the way but has also had days like Sunday when he was staked to an early lead but was unable to hold it.
"“Being a starter, I’m not really doing my job right now, so I’m ready for anything that is coming,” Kawakami said through his interpreter. “The team is playing well so whatever role I’m given I’ll try to do my best.”"
Over that time Medlen has stretched himself out and has pitched really well. It seems highly doubtful that he would get pushed back to the pen at this point.
Billy Wagner got his third save in four days on Sunday giving him 399 for his career. He will be only the second left hander to have 400 saves for his career joining John Franco.