05/11/09 6:52 PM ET
Sore elbow keeps Chipper out
Third baseman hopes to make Citi Field debut Tuesday
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
With his sore right elbow still preventing him from being able to make throws across the infield, Jones wasn't in the Braves' lineup on Monday night when they played their first game against the Mets at Citi Field. But the veteran third baseman was available to pinch-hit and he's hopeful that he'll be ready to return to full-time action on Tuesday.
"It's still keeping me from being able to throw," Jones said. "We treated it three times today, so hopefully it will be better tomorrow and I'll be able to get enough extension to make a throw."
Jones hyperextended his right elbow with two swings before removing himself from Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Phillies. After the game, he revealed that he's been battling tendinitis in the same elbow throughout the early portion of this season.
When Jones reported to Citi Field early Monday afternoon, he determined that the discomfort was still too great to even attempt to throw across the infield. While talking to reporters, he extended his right arm to show that he still isn't able to generate full extension.
"If I come back in tomorrow and I'm the same, I'll probably get a [cortisone] shot and that would keep me out a couple more days," Jones said. "But I want that to be the last resort."
Mets fans have long shared a love-hate relationship with Jones, who they playfully mock with chants of "Lah-REE" -- a reference to his birth name. But they haven't had the opportunity to taunt him with great regularity over the course of the past three seasons.
Dating back to the start of the 2006 season, Jones has played in just 14 of the 28 games the Braves have played against the Mets in New York. During this same span, he's started just 37 of the 57 games these two division rivals have played against each other.
With Jones absent, there was some reason to wonder if Braves manager Bobby Cox would go against the numbers and keep left fielder Garret Anderson's power potential in Monday night's lineup. But Cox opted to rest Anderson and allow Matt Diaz the opportunity to prolong his career-long success against Johan Santana.
Entering Monday, Diaz had eight hits, including a homer and a double, in 15 career at-bats against Santana. Anderson has six hits, with one homer, in 25 at-bats against the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
After starting just six of the first 12 games the Braves played this year, Anderson was placed on the disabled list on April 20. Since being activated last week, the 36-year-old outfielder has remained healthy and has given Cox more reason to believe he'll be a key offensive contributor this year.
"He can hit and he looks good in the outfield now," Cox said. "He's just one of those tough outs. You always have that feeling that he's going to get that big hit when you need one."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.