Chipper Jones — the Atlanta Braves’ iconic third baseman and future Hall of Famer — is tentatively scheduled to play for the R-Braves on a rehab assignment this weekend.
Jones, who is on the disabled list with a knee injury, will suit up for the R-Braves on Friday and Saturday, according to the AJC’s Dave O’Brien, who exchanged a series of emails with the RN-T on Monday evening. (O’Brien is the Braves’ beat writer for the AJC.)
The front office of the Rome Braves said on Monday night that they have not yet heard from Atlanta team officials in regard to Chipper’s potential visit to SMS.
The R-Braves host Delmarva in the opener of a three-game series on Thursday, then host Kannapolis in a four-game series that starts Saturday.
Jones, who underwent knee surgery to repair a cartilage tear nine days ago, is likely to be used a designated hitter on Friday and Saturday during his visit to SMS.
His appearances are sure to bring huge crowds to the ballpark.
“It will be so exciting if he comes,” said Rome Braves’ season ticket holder Betty Riley. “We are bigger Chipper Jones’ fans, and I know my grandsons (Eli and Gabe VanMeter) will be thrilled.”
This would be Jones’ third rehab assignment in Rome.
He played one game for the R-Braves in 2004 (going 0-for-4), and then returned for a three-game rehab stint in 2005 (going 3-for-6 with two RBIs).
Jones is eligible to come off the DL on Sunday, although there are reports that he isn’t likely to be activated until the Atlanta club returns home on Monday.
Jones is batting .259 with eight homers and 46 RBIs this season. He was named to the NL All-Star roster earlier this month but had to miss the game due to his knee injury.
According to a report on MLB.com, Jones worked out on Monday with Class AAA Gwinnett Braves before their game against Louisville.
The report said Jones fielders some grounders and took batting practice from the left side of the plate.
"He said he felt good and had no problems," Braves general manager Frank Wren told MLB.com. "He’s doing things I didn’t expect at this point."