No, not to first base. Chipper Jones is the greatest Atlanta Brave of all time. In my opinion, he is even greater than Maddux only for one reason: loyalty. Chipper wanted to be a Brave and stay a Brave so badly that he restructured his contract and moved to left field so Vinny Castilla could take over at third base. Chipper, because he will leave baseball the same way he came into baseball (as a Brave), is probably the greatest Atlanta Brave I will ever know.
Chipper will not move from 3rd base again....ever. It's not happening. Even though there are defensive metrics out there that says he's worse than a little leaguer with ADHD, he's not moving. Defensively, he's staying put.
Chipper isnt really a power threat anymore. Sure, he might hit 15-22 homeruns per year, but for a #3 hitter, that is quite below average (the average #3 hitter last year hit 26 homeruns). With that being said, I propose a promotion to Chipper:
Chipper for the 2 hole.
Let's think about this for a moment. Chipper Jones has the ability to hit the ball all over: in the gaps, over the fence, and blooping it in over some poor soul at the middle infield position. Plus, we all know that he's pretty decent at working a count and taking a walk (+100 career OBP). Adding to this is the fact that he rarely strikes out (less than 16% last year and 13% for his career), he would make a great #2 hitter.
With Mclouth obviously set to begin things off for the braves (I would still rather have diaz leading off), martin prado has been the #2 man for the braves. While Martin was a valuable piece when inserted into the #2 hole, he will never have the on-base capability of chipper. Putting Chipper in the 2 hole allows the braves (bobby cox) to get out of the "bunt-minded" mode that plagued them last year and allows them to work on creating big first innings. When the Braves offense started struggling, Bobby started utilizing the bunt earlier and more often. With Chipper in the 2 hole, Bobby has no choice but to let his superstar swing away.
Proposed Lineup (against righties) This is assuming we bring laroche back and sign someone equivalent in power to xavier nady, which is who I will be using in my example. I do believe that the braves will find 2 bats similar, if not better than Nady and Laroche. I believe in Frank Wren.
Against Lefties (dream, but bare with me)
In my lefty lineup, Matt Diaz hits in the #3 hole. In 152 abs against left-handed pitching, Matt Diaz hit .412 last year with a 1.103 ops. For his career, Matt Diaz has hit .347 against lefties with a .921 ops. To say Matty D. is a lefty-killer is an understatement. He is a LEFTY DESTROYER! Matt Diaz deserves to be in the middle of the order against left handed pitching.