Chipper Jones will be riding the pine to begin the season.
The bad news just keeps on coming for the Atlanta Braves and Chipper Jones. Not only will this be Chipper's last season, but he will begin the season on the disabled list. He will have surgery on Monday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Jones missed a little more than two weeks after undergoing the same surgical procedure on his right knee after last year’s All-Star break. He has told Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez that he hopes to return from this procedure in time to play the April 13 home opener against the Brewers.
In an ironic twist of fate, Chipper apparently tweaked his knee while stretching about an hour before his retirement press conference.
The club has several ways to fill in for Chipper at third base. Martin Prado is the obvious candidate to move from left field to third for the first week of games. That would leave a platoon of Eric Hinske and Matt Diaz to likely man left field, or perhaps the winner of the roster spot among Jose Constanza, Luis Durango, or Jordan Parraz.
With Jack Wilson returning from the disabled list, there is a possibility that he could see some time at third base, as well as the presumptive backup infielder, Drew Sutton. None of these options will be able to replace the offense that Chipper can provide.
Prospect Joe Terdoslavich will likely not be an option, as he is slated to start the season at double-A Mississippi.