Chipper Jones’ recovery from knee surgery last Saturday has gone well and the Braves third baseman said yesterday that he’s “felt fine for a few days now.”
Jones told Chris Cox of MLB.com that he’s optimistic about coming off the disabled list when eligible on July 24, but remains undecided about whether he’ll head out on a minor-league rehab assignment first or simply jump right back into the Braves’ lineup. He’s scheduled to hit off a tee today.
Jones was selected for his seventh All-Star game despite finishing the first half with a modest .259 batting average and .768 OPS in 77 games, but he was in the midst of a 9-for-28 (.321) hot streak to start this month before being shut down with two games to go before the break.
His absence has been doubly tough for the Braves because Martino Prado is also on the DL, so they’ve turned to 35-year-old Julio Lugo and his decrepit bat for back-to-back starts in his place. However, barring a setback Prado could rejoin the lineup as soon as tonight after missing more than a month with a staph infection in his calf.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.