Ryan Lavner, of MLB.com, reports the Atlanta Braves placed third baseman Chipper Jones (hamstring) on the 15-day disabled list Monday, July 28.
The Braves called up catcher Clint Sammons from Triple-A Richmond as a roster replacement.
Jones has not played since straining his left hamstring Wednesday, July 23, against the Florida Marlins. He was almost available to come in as a pinch-hitter Sunday, July 27, but took several painful swings in the batting cages beforehand and did not enter the game. Jones said his hamstring was still bothering him when he walked around July 28; this prompted the Braves to place him on the disabled list. He has not played since Wednesday, July 23, so he should be able to come off the disabled list Aug. 8.
The 36-year-old has been battling hamstring and quadriceps injuries that have hampered him throughout the season. Nonetheless, Jones has enjoyed a stellar 2008 season, hitting for a major league-best .369 average with 18 home runs and 55 RBIs. He has played in 89 of the team's 104 games. The injury to Jones could not come at a worse time for the Braves, who are entering a pivotal week in which they find themselves 7 1/2 games back in the National League East division.
Infielder Omar Infante will likely be the replacement at third base with Jones on the sidelines. Infante was activated from the disabled list with a hamstring injury of his own last week and was Jones' replacement at third base in the Braves' weekend series. Infante hit his second home run of the season July 27 and is hitting .287 with 15 RBIs in 129 at-bats this year with the Braves. Infante has received the majority of his at-bats this season while playing third base, hitting .308 with two homers and nine RBIs in 52 at-bats at the hot corner.
Infielder Martin Prado could also see some action. He's batting .268 with a homer and 14 RBIs in 71 at-bats this year.
Turning to the fantasy impact, owners of Jones should be concerned as the switch-hitting third baseman has been a fantasy stud in 2008. His unfavorable history with leg problems this year could hinder the rest of his season. Jones should be placed on a disabled list spot or on the bench if you do not have the room. Under no circumstances should he be dropped or even considered being dropped.
The team has not made it entirely clear how serious the hamstring injury is, so owners should keep a close eye on Jones' progress. The most likely scenario is that the team will be extremely cautious with Jones, considering the fact that he almost single-handedly carried the team's offense in the first half of the season.
Infante is the temporary solution at third base but is not expected to produce the numbers that Jones puts up. Infante has never hit over .300 in a season in which he received 100-plus at-bats. He has hit 6-for-19 (.316) since his recent return, though, while recording four RBIs in his last two games. Infante and Prado should only be considered fantasy options in NL-only formats.
Sammons was called up to spell catcher Brian McCann (concussion), who was involved in a collision at home plate July 27. Sammons is only noteworthy in deep NL-only setups.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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