Chipper Jones’ left calf injury hasn’t gotten any better over the past couple of days, so the Braves have decided to place him on the disabled list. The team has yet to make a corresponding roster move, but they are likely to call up a catcher after David Ross left last night’s game against the Nationals with a groin injury.
Jones originally injured the calf when he was hit in the leg by a line drive off the bat of Rays’ center fielder B.J. Upton last Friday. While he hasn’t started a game since then, he did appear as a pinch-hitter during Wednesday’s game. This means he won’t be eligible to return until June 8, but Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told Chris Vilvamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he’ll likely need all 15 days for the injury to heal and perhaps longer.
“They assured me it is going to be 15 days,” Gonzalez said. “It’s not going to be six days [and then he would be healthy enough to return]. It’s going to be the whole 15 days and maybe a little bit longer than that. You are talking 15 days plus six [more days already out of the lineup] without playing. It’s going to be a couple days of rehab also.”
Juan Francisco figures to see more playing time at third base during his absence, but the Braves also have the option of playing Martin Prado at third and Matt Diaz or Eric Hinske in left field.
Jones, 40, is hitting .307/.377/.485 with five homers, 24 RBI and an .862 OPS over 114 plate appearances in his 19th and final season in the majors. He began the year on the disabled list following knee surgery.
The Nationals have placed reliever Koda Glover on the 10-day disabled list due to a left hip impingement, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Glover said he is “extremely confident” that he’ll need only the minimum 10 days to recover.
Glover, 24, felt hip discomfort when throwing his first pitch in Tuesday’s relief appearance. He attributed it to the cold, per Janes.
Glover was one of a handful of candidates to handle the ninth inning for the Nationals. It’s been a mixed bag for him, as he has a loss and a blown save along with a 4.15 ERA and a 6/1 K/BB ratio in 8 2/3 innings.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that starter Clay Buchholz is at Citizens Bank Park for Wednesday night’s game against the Marlins. The right-hander recently underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his flexor pronator mass. The timetable for his recovery is three to five months, but most are expecting him to miss the rest of the season since the Phillies aren’t legitimate contenders.
According to Zolecki, Buchholz apologized to GM Matt Klentak “and others” — presumably other front office staff and/or his teammates — for getting injured. Buchholz hopes to return to pitch in September.
It’s saddening to me, and indicative of the general anti-labor culture in sports, that a player feels obligated to apologize for getting injured on the job. Injuries are nothing new for Buchholz, which might have factored into his decision to apologize. Red Sox fans got on his case quite a bit over the years for his propensity to land on the disabled list. But it wasn’t like Buchholz was taking unnecessary risks; he simply did his job, which entails doing a lot of unhealthy movement with his arm. Buchholz owes no one an apology.
Buchholz isn’t the only player to have apologized for getting injured. Outfielder Hideki Matsui apologized to the Yankees in 2006. Starter Masahiro Tanaka apologized in 2014. Twins reliever Glen Perkins apologized last year. Even Madison Bumgarner sort of apologized for suffering injuries riding a dirt bike on an off-day, saying “It’s definitely not the most responsible decision I’ve made.” Because god forbid an athlete has interests and hobbies outside of his vocation.
Players are brought up in a sports culture that allows exorbitantly wealthy owners to bilk the players — laborers — at every possible turn. They’re mostly underpaid and poorly taken care of in the minors. If and when they reach the major leagues, their salaries are intentionally depressed for six years and their service time is toyed with (just ask Kris Bryant). Buchholz endured that and then endured the criticism that comes with having been a hyped prospect who mostly failed to live up to expectations. He’s gone above and beyond what he needed to do to have a successful career as a professional baseball player, even if it wasn’t as much as fans or front office personnel would have liked.