As was mentioned in the recaps this morning, Chipper Jones hurt his oblique in yesterday’s loss to the Cubs. He was originally listed as day-to-day, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that he got a cortisone shot today and because of whatever voodoo accompanies cortisone shots he’s out until at least Monday, and may miss some more time.
My guess is that he’ll once again begin pursuing Cal Ripken’s Iron Man title on Wednesday of next week, due to the no-travel offday Tuesday which would give him some more time to heal. Also worth noting is that between Eric Hinske, Troy Glaus Martin Prado and Omar Infante, the Braves are rotten with guys who can at least pretend to play a little third base if need be. My guess is that they’ll either plug Infante directly at third or else play Infante at second and move Prado over.
While all of this may be distressing to some Braves fans, David O’Brien reminded us this morning that the team went 9-1 when Chipper missed ten games last season. Fact is, the offense doesn’t depend on him the way it used to and the Braves will get by without him for a few days.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.