Notes: Chipper eager to get back

Notes: Chipper eager to get back

ATLANTA -- When Chipper Jones used the words "very painful" on Friday, he wasn't commenting on his injured wrists.

Instead, the third baseman was talking about how difficult it was to watch the Braves struggle without him in the lineup.

Jones is scheduled to get the splints off his wrists on Saturday and be re-examined by hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie. Then the Braves will have a better idea how much longer Jones will be sidelined.

"I hope it's not the four to six weeks," Jones said of the original worst-case scenario.

Jones is hopeful that he will be able to take batting practice sometime next week. "I do feel better," he said.

Asked if he thought Jones would need a Minor League rehab assignment, Braves manager Bobby Cox said, "No."

Jones was injured May 11 in a tumble at Pittsburgh, but he was able to play through May 23 before the pain became too much. He was eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.

The Braves obviously need the switch-hitter back in the lineup as soon as possible. He is batting .300 with 12 homers and 27 RBIs.

"I know I could have made a difference in some of these games," Jones said. "Hitting is contagious and so is not hitting. We're not hitting."

McCann rested again: Rookie catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia started for the third time in five games Friday night against the Cubs and will be seeing plenty of action for a while.

Brian McCann's right ankle is still bothering him, and Cox said that he will give his starting catcher "three days off out of four" until he feels better. He had a cortisone shot Wednesday.

"That ankle is really bothering Mac," Cox said.

McCann tweaked the ankle during the second game of Tuesday's split doubleheader against the Marlins. It is the same ankle he hurt last year, sidelining him for almost three weeks.

McCann hit .333 with 24 homers and 93 RBIs last season, making the All-Star Game as a rookie. But he is hitting .275 with three homers and 27 RBIs this year, and has also struggled at times behind the plate.

Sturtze's progress slow: When the Braves signed veteran reliever Tanyon Sturtze in the offseason, the hope was that he might be ready to join the bullpen by June. That won't happen.

Trying to come back from rotator cuff surgery performed in May 2006, Sturtze isn't ready to begin a Minor League rehab stint and may not be until July. "He isn't close," Cox said.

So far, the 37-year-old is throwing just five minutes of batting practice at a time, alternating that with five-minute sessions from a bullpen mound.

Sturtze is guaranteed $750,000 this season, plus $350,000 more if he is activated by the Braves. There also was a chance at $450,000 in incentives.

Sturtze's best year was with the Yankees in 2005, when he was 5-3 with a save and 4.73 ERA in 64 appearances.

Minor honor: Jones will become the first active Major Leaguer inducted into the Class A South Atlantic League Hall of Fame. He is part of the class to be honored June 19 during the All-Star Game luncheon in Rome.

"It's an easy Hall of Fame to make," Jones said. "You only have to have one good year."

The first overall pick in the 1990 First-Year Player Draft hit .326 with 15 homers and 98 RBIs in 1991 while playing for Macon. He did commit 56 errors as a shortstop, however.

All-Star compensation: The Orioles agreed to compensate Atlanta for hiring Leo Mazzone as pitching coach before his contract with the Braves had run out. The Braves took pitcher Moises Hernandez, 23, and it is looking like a shrewd pick.

The Venezuelan right-hander -- the older brother of Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez -- has won his past six starts for Class A Myrtle Beach. He is 9-2 with a 3.09 ERA and was the only Pelican selected to the Carolina League All-Star team, which will face the California League on June 19 in Stockton, Calif.

Deceiving record: Class A Rome right-hander Tommy Hanson is just 2-4, but his other numbers show why he was selected for the South Atlantic League All-Star Game in Rome on June 19.

Hanson, 20, has a 2.35 ERA and leads the league with 81 strikeouts in 65 innings. Opponents are batting .179 off him.

In his last start, Hanson allowed just one hit, but it was a homer in a 1-0 loss at Columbus. He struck out 12 and walked two in seven innings.

Time changes: The Braves will play two consecutive Sunday home games at 8:05 p.m. ET. This Sunday's series finale against the Cubs has been moved for ESPN, as has the June 24 Interleague game against the Tigers.

The time of the June 23 home game against Detroit was also changed. The Saturday game will be played at 3:55 p.m. instead of at night and carried on FOX. The Braves' game at Cleveland on June 16 will also be a FOX telecast at 3.55 p.m.

Coming up: Tim Hudson (6-4, 3.09 ERA) will face the Cubs on Saturday night at 7:05 in the third game of the four-game series at Turner Field. Jason Marquis (5-2, 2.84 ERA) gets the start for Chicago.

Guy Curtright is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.