Posts Tagged ‘Chipper Jones’

Braves beat 5/12

May 12, 2010 Comments off

Red-hot Glaus in a groove at the plate

MILWAUKEE — Troy Glaus insists he is not doing anything differently at the plate, even though the Braves first baseman has been as hot as anyone on the team offensively of late.

Glaus, who is batting .371 with two home runs, three doubles and 15 RBIs over his last 18 games, extended his hitting streak to eight games on Wednesday with an RBI single. Over the hit streak, Glaus is batting .375 (12-for-32).

Still, Glaus said he hasn’t changed a thing.

“It’s still the same swing I’ve had the last 15 years,” Glaus said. “Now I’m finding some holes and earlier I wasn’t. I’ve felt good all year, it’s just a matter of being productive. Lately, I’ve had opportunities with guys in scoring position, and I was able to come through.”

Glaus, who played just 14 games all of last year with the Cardinals after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, has been contributing defensively, as well.

His current streak of 26 straight errorless games at first base is the best on the team, dating back to April 15. In two games against the Brewers at Miller Park this week, Glaus has made a few spectacular plays on throws from across the diamond.

“He’s been incredible on scoops,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “I don’t know how he does it. He’s really taken to it. He’s a good target, too.”

Chipper expected to return to lineup on Friday

MILWAUKEE — Third baseman Chipper Jones was out of the Braves lineup for the second straight day on Wednesday, giving him a couple extra days to recover from a sore groin.

Jones, who originally tweaked the groin on Saturday in Philadelphia, has sat out three of the Braves last four games, while leaving in the sixth inning of the fourth on Monday.

With an off-day scheduled Thursday for the Braves, manager Bobby Cox expects two more days of rest to be ample time for Jones to recover and return for Friday’s series opener in Atlanta against the D-backs.

“We’re going to rest him today, and we got an off-day, so that’ll be three days in a row,” Cox said. “Hopefully he’ll be good. I would say he should be back Friday.”

Escobar to rehab with Triple-A Gwinnett

MILWAUKEE — Before he’s eligible to return to the Braves lineup on Saturday in Atlanta, shortstop Yunel Escobar will play a rehab assignment later this week.

Escobar, who has been out since April 30 with a left adductor strain, will suit up for the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate before returning to the club.

“He’s going to play Friday in Gwinnett,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “Then he can play for us on Saturday.”

Cox did not specify who would be sent down upon Escobar’s return, though Brandon Hicks — who was called up when Escobar went down — is the most likely candidate.

Braves remain confident in Kawakami

MILWAUKEE — Despite a difficult 0-6 start to the season, Braves manager Bobby Cox remains confident in right-hander Kenshin Kawakami, who is scheduled to start Friday’s series opener in Atlanta against the D-backs.

Kawakami, 34, has lost each of his first six starts this season, despite allowing just an average of 3.5 earned runs per start over a total of 33 innings pitched. He has failed to go five innings just once this season, while going a season-high 6 2/3 innings on Sunday in the Braves’ 5-3 loss to the Phillies.

Of the six, Kawakami’s best performance was his first, when he allowed three runs (two earned) on just five hits over six innings pitched on April 11 in San Francisco. Kawakami left with the Braves trailing by a run before the bullpen let the game slip away, 6-3.

Still, Cox remains positive about Kawakami’s performance.

“I just keep encouraging him,” Cox said. “In my mind, he’s thrown some really nice games.”

Heyward could wreak havoc on basepaths

MILWAUKEE — After reaching base with a single in the fourth inning of the Braves’ 11-3 victory over the Brewers on Tuesday, rookie right fielder Jason Heyward recorded his first career stolen base.

Heyward stole second without a throw from Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun, who opted to hold onto the ball rather than risk throwing it away.

When asked about Heyward’s running ability before Wednesday’s series finale, Braves manager Bobby Cox said he believed the 20-year-old had the potential to steal 20 or more in a season.

“Easily,” Cox said. “We just haven’t been able to run much. We’re always down. And they slide-step him and all that, too.”

If the Braves continue to swing the bats the way they did over the first two games at Miller Park, Heyward should see his stolen-base opportunities increase, especially with the way he’s been getting on base.

Heyward leads the Braves with a .423 on-base percentage, while batting .300 with eight home runs, 27 RBIs and a .611 slugging percentage.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves beat 5/11

May 11, 2010 Comments off

Hanson continues to draw comparisons

MILWAUKEE — After delivering one of the best performances of his young career the night before, Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson received high praise from his manager before Tuesday’s game.

Hanson pitched eight scoreless innings while striking out eight in the Braves’ 8-2 victory over the Brewers on Monday night at Miller Park. It was the third time in Hanson’s career he’s pitched eight innings and the second of those three in which he did not allow a run.

Hanson utilized four pitches very effectively Monday night to neutralize the Brewers, including his curveball and slider. Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee, who went 1-for-3 against Hanson, was among those impressed by the young right-hander.

“He’s got command of his fastball and he’s got really good command of an above-average slider,” McGehee said after Monday’s game. “That makes for a pretty good combination.” When asked who he would compare Hanson to before Tuesday’s game, Braves manager Bobby Cox answered quickly, with little hesitation.

“Kind of a [John] Smoltz-type arm,” Cox said. “Smoltzy had the great breaking balls [and] Hanson’s got a great curve and slider, just like Smoltz. … You don’t see breaking balls like that very often.”

Smoltz, who pitched 21 years with the Braves, used three pitches — fastball, slider, split-finger — consistently while also mixing in an occasional curveball and changeup. While with the Braves, Smoltz won the NL Cy Young Award in 1996 and he was an eight-time All-Star.

When told of his manager’s comparison, Hanson was humbled and honored to hear it.

“That’s just a huge honor,” Hanson said. “They throw those names around and that’s just a little bit overwhelming for me. But it’s definitely a huge honor and something to feel good about.”

Chipper scratched with sore groin

MILWAUKEE — Just an hour before the scheduled start of Tuesday night’s game against the Brewers at Miller Park, third baseman Chipper Jones was scratched from the Braves’ lineup.

Originally slated to bat third in the order, Jones was set to follow right fielder Jason Heyward and ahead of catcher Brian McCann. Due to a sore groin, however, Jones was taken out of the lineup in favor of Brooks Conrad.

Jones sat out Sunday’s series finale in Philadelphia with the same injury and was pulled on Monday after legging out an infield single in the sixth inning of the Braves’ 8-2 victory over the Brewers at Miller Park.

“He started limping a little bit,” Cox said of Jones after Monday’s game. “The ball got by the catcher all the way and he couldn’t run. I don’t know if he can play [Tuesday] or not.” The move also shook up the Braves’ batting order, as center fielder Nate McClouth moved from eighth to first, and second baseman Martin Prado and Heyward each dropped a spot to second and third in the lineup, respectively.

Cox thrilled about honor for Glavine

MILWAUKEE — With the announcement that Tom Glavine’s No. 47 will be retired by the club, Braves manager Bobby Cox took a moment before Tuesday’s game to reflect on the left-hander’s 22-year career.

Glavine pitched the first 16 seasons for Atlanta with Cox at the helm. During that time, he won two National League Cy Young Awards, earned eight All-Star Game selections and was named MVP of the 1995 World Series.

One thing that Glavine didn’t get recognized for, though, was his durability. It didn’t go unnoticed by his manager, however.

“All those years he pitched, he never went on the disabled list until right at the very end. [He was a] great competitor,” Cox said. “He can pitch hurt. Sore shoulder, sore elbow, bad ankle, bad knee, bad ribs — you name it, he did it. It’s amazing.

Glavine pitched Game 2 and Game 6 in that 1995 World Series, earning the win each time. Game 6, which clinched the title for the Braves, was one of the best performances of Glavine’s career, helping him secure the MVP Award.

Over eight innings, Glavine did not allow a run and gave up just one hit in the Braves’ 1-0 victory.

Glavine would never be mistaken for one of the more overpowering pitchers in the game, but his consistency was key to his success and something that left an impression on Cox.

“He was like a machine most of the time,” Cox said. “Strike after strike — in, out — [he could] change speeds, [had a] great changeup, was a great fielder, great bunter, good hitter — you could always squeeze with him even with two strikes. He brought a lot to the ballpark.”

With all that in mind, Cox was happy to hear his longtime pitcher would have his number retired and be inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame later this season.

“It’s going to be great,” Cox said. “He meant a lot to this organization.”

Cox understands move of Phillies-Jays

MILWAUKEE — Despite an apparent advantage over the rest of the division, Braves manager Bobby Cox wasn’t bothered by the decision to move the June 25-27 series between the Phillies and Blue Jays from Toronto to Philadelphia.

Due to a scheduling conflict with the G20 Summit on June 25-26, the two clubs, along with Major League Baseball, decided to move the series to the Phillies’ home ballpark. With the G20 scheduled at the Metro Convention Center, just feet away from Rogers Centre, massive security and congestion issues would have arisen on those dates.

The Blue Jays will be the home team in Philadelphia, which means they will bat last and both teams will utilize the designated hitter. But with the game played at their ballpark and tickets being sold first to Phillies season-ticket holders, it essentially amounts to an extra three home games for the Braves’ rivals.

Still, Cox was not upset by the move due to the nature of the decision.

“They have to do it, they had no choice,” Cox said. “You can’t complain about anything like that.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.