Chipper returns after overseeing son's surgery
Third baseman pinch-hits vs. Marlins, set to start on Friday
MIAMI -- Chipper Jones returned to Atlanta on Wednesday morning to be present as his seven-year-old son, Shea, underwent a sinus-related surgical procedure.
Jones traveled to Atlanta during Wednesday's early-morning hours, returning to Miami approximately 30 minutes after the start of Wednesday night's game against the Marlins. The 39-year-old third baseman entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning of Atlanta's 4-0 loss and remained in the game to play third base.
"He's kind of my sickly child," Jones said. "I worry about him, so I wanted to be there. I talked to the team a couple days ago and explained my situation."
When Jones' son was 2 years old, he took antibiotics that stripped the lining of his stomach.
Because he is now unable to take antibiotics, doctors advised Jones that the sinus issue needed to be addressed with a surgical procedure that created two holes in Shea's sinus cavity. Jones said the hope is that this procedure will minimize the sinus infections that have afflicted his son.
Jones will be in the starting lineup for Friday's series opener against the Nationals in Washington D.C. Jones has hit .333 with eight home runs and a .978 OPS in his past 35 games.
With Martin Prado starting Wednesday night's game at third base in place of Jones, Jose Constanza started in left field. This was Constanza's first start since Sept. 6. He went 0-for-2 before departing for a pinch-hitter.
Jurrjens on 'pen session: 'It was really good'
MIAMI -- Jair Jurrjens has been frustrated by a right knee ailment that has wrecked his performance since the All-Star break and created doubt about the possibility of him pitching again this year. But the Braves right-hander gained some much-needed encouragement while completing a bullpen session at Sun Life Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
"It went really good," Jurrjens said after throwing 50 pitches with what he considered to be maximum effort.
Jurrjens' right knee discomfort has been blamed on a bone bruise that developed after he entered the All-Star break with a National League-leading 1.87 ERA. He believes some of the fatigue he has battled is a product of his inability to strengthen his leg enough after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee last October.
Jurrjens has been wearing a brace to provide some stability for his right knee.
"It makes me feel a little more comfortable, like I have more support," Jurrjens said. "It's giving me the confidence back to drive [off the pitching rubber]."
Jurrjens will go to the club's Spring Training complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Friday to complete two innings in an instructional league game. He will not be available for the NL Division Series and his status for the Championship Series still seems questionable.
But even if Jurrjens does not pitch again this year, it appears he will enter the offseason confident that his knee is physically sound.
"I think this gives him good peace of mind," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Freeman ranks among Atlanta rookie elite
MIAMI -- Freddie Freeman might have slowed over the course of the past month, but the Braves first baseman has still produced one of the finest rookie seasons in Atlanta history.
Freeman hit his 20th homer of the season during the sixth inning of Tuesday night's win over the Marlins. He became the first Braves rookie to reach this mark since Chipper Jones hit 23 in 1995. Earl Williams (33), David Justice (28) and Bob Horner (23) are the only other Atlanta rookies to have ever hit more in a season.
Freeman has already set the Atlanta rookie records for hits and doubles. He needs four more extra-base hits to match the Atlanta rookie record Ron Gant set when he totaled 55 in 1988.
Kris Medlen completed a pain-free inning in instructional league action Wednesday. There is a chance Medlen, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, could be available to serve as a reliever in the postseason. ... The Braves announced that they sent right-handed reliever Eliecer Cardenas to the Pirates as the player to be named later in the Aug. 31 deal that brought Matt Diaz back to Atlanta. Cardenas is a 23-year-old right-hander who has completed three innings above the Class A Advanced level.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.