DENVER -- When Jordan Schafer slid into second base during the third inning of Wednesday night's loss to the Rockies and then immediately signaled for assistance from the dugout, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez thought he was going to find his starting center fielder with a dislocated finger.Fortunately Schafer's finger wasn't dislocated. But it was jammed hard enough to create too much swelling for him to start Thursday's series finale against the Rockies. He removed himself from the lineup after attempting to take some swings in the indoor cage about two hours before the first pitch. "It's too swollen right now for me to get my fingers around the bat," Schafer said. While Schafer was given no reason to believe he did any structural damage, he did feel increased discomfort as the swelling increased overnight. Still the 24-year-old center fielder is hoping to return to the lineup as early as Friday. Schafer's finger jammed into the ground after the metal portion of his left wrist guard dug into the ground as he completed headfirst slide into second base. He played the remainder of the game and was thankful that he didn't have to make any necessary throws. "I really don't know how I swung last night because after I did it, I felt terrible," Schafer said.
Chipper delays start of rehab stint
DENVER -- After working out with the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves again Thursday morning, Chipper Jones decided that it would be best to wait at least a couple more days before beginning his Minor League rehab assignment.Instead of serving as Class A Rome's designated hitter Friday night, Jones will spend at least one more day resting his right knee, which was surgically repaired during a July 9 arthroscopic procedure in Atlanta. Jones is no longer feeling the discomfort that plagued him when he spent the past two months playing with a torn meniscus. But the 39-year-old veteran may need just a little more time to build strength in his leg. When asked if he had a setback Thursday, Jones replied via text, "Just not there yet." There is still a chance Jones could be activated for Monday's series opener against the Pirates. But it seems the next couple of days will provide a clearer indication about when he might actually return to the Braves lineup.
Uggla sits with strained left calf
DENVER -- Dan Uggla has finally started to perform like the dangerous offensive threat the Braves had envisioned. Thus it was not surprising when they held the second baseman out of Thursday afternoon's series finale against the Rockies with a strained left calf.Uggla felt some discomfort during the sixth inning of Wednesday night's loss to the Rockies and exited after producing a game-tying, eighth-inning single that extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games. The veteran said there's a possibility he could return for Friday's series opener in Cincinnati, but it seems more likely that he will wait until Saturday. "I can pinch-hit and do all of that stuff," Uggla said. "I just don't want to push it to where I have to go 80 or 90 percent because that can get nasty. I don't want to try to leg out anything. If it's a gapper, it would be no problem getting to second and getting pinch-run for or whatever. Anything I've got to go full go on is not worth the risk of tearing it." Uggla has batted .333 with five homers during his 12-game hitting streak and raised his batting average from .173 to .193. Brooks Conrad started at second base in his absence Thursday. "I just want to play," Uggla said. "I hate rehabbing and training room and all that stuff. I hate it."
Cox to watch Gillick, Van Horne enter Hall
DENVER -- Over the next few years, Bobby Cox will make numerous trips to Cooperstown for ceremonies honoring him and some of the legendary players he managed. But this weekend, the former Braves manager is heading to the upstate New York town to see two long-time friends get inducted to Baseball's Hall of Fame.As Cox completed some chores Thursday morning, he excitedly talked about the chance to spend this weekend watching legendary executive Pat Gillick and legendary broadcaster Dave Van Horne honored during the Hall of Fame ceremonies. Gillick, who still serves as a senior adviser with the Phillies, has been one of Cox's closest friends in the game of baseball. They first crossed paths in the 1960s, were part of the Yankees' organization together in the 1970s and formed a successful general manager/manager combo in Toronto from 1982-85. After the Braves fired Cox at the end of the 1981 season, Gillick quickly hired him to manage the Blue Jays, who gained their first playoff berth under his guidance in 1985. The two have maintained their close friendship over the years and often spent time catching up whenever the Braves were in Philadelphia to play the Phillies over the past few years. "I've basically known Pat my entire baseball career," Cox said. "I couldn't miss this." While Cox has the utmost respect for Gillick's ability to lead and evaluate talent, he still doesn't advise anybody to get in any car driven by his long-time friend. Cox still remembers having to tell Gillick to pull over while they were driving through the western part of Canada during a promotional tour for the LaBatt Brewing Company during the early 1980s. "Pat is a notoriously bad driver and we had [former Blue Jays infielder] Garth Iorg in the car with us," Cox said. "As we were going through the mountains, I made Pat pull over and give me the keys. I told him, 'Do you realize Garth's wife is about ready to give birth and if we let you keep driving, he's never going to see that baby.'" Cox's relationship with Van Horne dates back to 1967, when Cox was playing for the Triple-A Richmond Braves and Van Horne was serving as the team's radio broadcaster. "He's been a well-kept secret for a long time," Cox said of Van Horne, who has been a broadcaster since 1969, serving the Expos and Marlins.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.