Brian Jordan says that Chipper Jones doesn't work out enough

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Chipper Jones swing.jpgFormer Braves outfielder Brian Jordan was on Sirius/XM with Jim Bowden and Casey Stern today, and the subject of Chipper Jones’ health came up.  Stern asked Jordan if Chipper’s recent oblique injury suggested that he is “done.”  Jordan’s answer was interesting:

Jordan: “Well, I mean, he leaves you scratching your head because, you know, it’s been a problem, especially his obliques the last couple years, and I think he just doesn’t think he’s aging.  (laughs)  As you get older, you’ve got to work out a little harder to prevent injury and I’m not sure if he’s really dedicating himself, his body, to doing that because I was really surprised to see that oblique injury pop up so early this season.  Because he said he worked out, he got himself in better shape but, you know, I know the fans, I know myself, you know, we’re all scratching our heads and we’re just crossing our fingers that he can stay healthy . . .

Bowden: “So, Brian, you think that he’s getting hurt because he’s not working out hard enough and staying in shape at his age?”

Jordan:  “Uh, you know what, I really believe so.  I think at some point when you start getting older, you really have to do the extra things.  You’ve got to get in that whirlpool, you’ve got to stretch, and really work hard to keep your flexibility before you get out there on the field.  And I’m not sure if he’s dedicating himself to doing that.

Look, I have no idea if Chipper Jones works out enough or not, but given that Brian Jordan’s last four seasons consisted of 66, 61, 76 and 48 games due to a metric crap-ton of nagging injuries, I’m not sure he is the guy to be calling Jones out here.  By all accounts Brian Jordan was a workout freak, and he was a walking M*A*S*H unit. Is it not possible that Jones, like Jordan, is just one of those guys who is susceptible to injuries?

And yes, I have personal feelings on this matter. If it wasn’t for Brian Jordan’s nagging injuries in 2005, Jeff Francoeur likely wouldn’t have been called up when he was, which would have either (a) given him more time to learn in AAA; or (b) kept him out of Atlanta long enough for the Braves to realize that he was not, in fact, the second coming.

Either way, I look forward to hearing Chipper Jones’ response to all of this. Because he’s not usually one to mince words.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.