According to Chris Girandola of MLB.com, Chipper Jones is expected to miss the rest of the weekend series against the Rays after leaving last night’s game with a left calf contusion.
Jones suffered the injury when he was smacked in the left leg with a line drive off the bat of B.J. Upton while playing third base in the bottom of the second inning. He stayed in for two more at-bats before Juan Francisco pinch-hit for him in the top of the eighth.
Jones doesn’t think he needs an MRI or X-rays, but he likely won’t return to action until at least Monday when the Braves take on the Reds in Cincinnati.
“It’s safe to say my career in Tampa Bay is officially over,” said Jones, who had planned to have family and friends from his hometown area in Deland, Fla., attend the game on Saturday.
Jones, who turned 40 last month, is hitting .307/.372/.485 with five home runs, 24 RBI and an .857 OPS through 113 plate appearances this season.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.