Losing Chipper Jones really hurts the Braves

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The Chipper Jones narrative this year has been “nice career, but he’s washed up and it’s just about over.” And there’s a lot of truth to that. But little noticed has been that Jones has rebounded nicely from a slow start. As Dave O’Brien notes over that the AJC, since mid-June, Jones has hit .304 with 10 doubles and seven home runs over 43
games. In the past week he’s hit three homers in seven
games.

Now, however, he could be gone for the rest of the year.  Jones is talking big and the preliminary diagnosis is a sprain, but the fact is that he crumpled to the ground last night, said that he heard a pop and Bobby Cox is openly talking about him being out for the rest of the season.

Which could be a killer. The Braves are already dealing with the loss of Martin Prado and — last night’s homer notwithstanding — a prolonged slump from Troy Glaus. They’ve needed Jones’ bat these last few weeks and will certainly need it in order to stay ahead of the Phillies.

Omar Infante is currently filling in for Prado. Which means that we’ll probably see last night’s hero Brooks Conrad or — if Bobby Cox is daring — either Glaus or Eric Hinske spend some time at third until Prado returns. No matter who fills in, however, Jones’ loss is a big one, both from a competitive perspective and for team morale.

Dave Roberts: Clayton Kershaw could be activated on Tuesday

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 17:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers heads to the dugout at the end of the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on May 17, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that there is a possibility that starter Clayton Kershaw will be activated after throwing a simulated game on Tuesday, Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA reports. Kershaw threw a 60-pitch bullpen session on Friday. His activation depends on how he feels coming out of the simulated game.

Kershaw, 28, has been out since late June with mild disk herniation in his lower back. There was some consternation last month that the lefty might need back surgery, but he seems to have moved past that worry.

At the time he hit the disabled list, Kershaw was a front-runner for the National League Cy Young Award, owning an 11-2 record with a 1.79 ERA and a 145/9 K/BB ratio in 121 innings.

The Dodgers entered play Monday with a two-game lead over the Giants in the NL West. Needless to say, getting Kershaw back bolsters their odds of winning the division.

Pirates place Gerrit Cole on the disabled list with elbow inflammation

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Houston Astros at PNC Park on August 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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Starter Gerrit Cole has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to August 25, with posterior inflammation of his right elbow, the Pirates announced. Pitcher Steven Brault has been recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis for Monday night’s start against the Cubs.

Cole was scratched from Monday’s start on Sunday and instead traveled to Los Angeles to be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. The right-hander previously underwent an MRI which ruled out structural damage.

Cole hits the shelf with a 3.55 ERA and a 95/32 K/BB ratio over 114 innings. The Pirates entered play Monday a half game out of the second National League Wild Card slot, so losing him for at least two more weeks will sting.