The Braves announced just a short while ago that Chipper Jones underwent successful arthroscopic surgery earlier today to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
This is the sixth knee surgery of Jones’ career and comes just days after the 39-year-old third baseman announced his intention to retire following the 2012 season. In an odd coincidence, Jones injured the knee while stretching just prior to the press conference.
Jones only missed around three weeks following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last July, so the Braves are optimistic that he could return as soon as the home opener against the Brewers on April 13. Martin Prado is expected to fill in at the hot corner for now while Eric Hinske and Matt Diaz will split playing time in left field.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.
Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.
When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.
The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.