Atlanta Braves acquire a Hall of Famer… kinda

Chipper Jones is back with the Atlanta Braves... complete with his odd facial expressions. (Photo by Patrick Duffy/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images)
Chipper Jones is back with the Atlanta Braves... complete with his odd facial expressions. (Photo by Patrick Duffy/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

That itch is proving tough to scratch for an Atlanta Braves legend of our era.

He has been in the broadcast booth several times since hanging up his spikes, but now it appears that Hall of Fame switch-hitter Chipper Jones will now officially take up a task that many Atlanta Braves fans believe he’s tailor-made to tackle:

This role is not intended to supplant or undermine the two hitting coaches already on the Braves staff — Kevin Seitzer and his assistant Jose Castro.  But it does allow an extra voice into the mix that perhaps might spur on a couple of position players that have been struggling under Seitzer’s tutelage.

The Braves have made a habit of bringing back star players from the past to make week-long appearance at Spring Training as ‘special assistants’, but this is different.

Jones is actually being added to the major league coaching staff, a more defined position that (while officially “part-time”) appears to be set up for him to be present at most home games during the season.

Chipper Jones to be back in uniform for the Atlanta Braves.

It’s tempting to suggest that since the Atlanta Braves haven’t been able to acquire a hitter this off-season that perhaps they hired Jones to create one internally.

However, it’s not like Seitzer is bad at his job — Jones’ presence should simply add to the resources available to anyone needing a little extra help.

Besides that, it’s clear that Chipper was looking for some way to stay involved with the sport, and the Braves were willing to bring him aboard in a role that fits his skillset like a batting glove.

The immediate thought here is that perhaps new third baseman Austin Riley could be a beneficiary of Jones’ services… while he’s certainly had his moments, Riley has struggled mightily with consistency at the plate, which is something Chipper excelled at over his career.

Of course, the pipe dream hope might be that the Atlanta Braves now acquire a new switch-hitting third baseman… but getting Cleveland to relinquish Jose Ramirez is going to be a tough task.

It’s good to have Chipper back with the Braves, though — in any capacity.  Whether hitting bombs, or rescuing hitters from bad habits, or saving first basemen from icy highways, he’s been an Atlanta establishment since being drafted in 1990.

If nothing else, he now provides a lift in fan spirits this Winter as we still wait for moves that will impact the roster…

Next. d'Arn it, it's almost time to mask up!. dark

… unless we can convince a nearly 49-year-old to pinch-hit occasionally?  Maybe?