Rested Chipper continues thriving at plate

Rested Chipper continues thriving at plate

CHICAGO -- After undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee on July 9, Chipper Jones returned to the Braves' lineup 16 days later and suffered a right hamstring strain that limited his availability to pinch-hit appearances for nearly two more full weeks.

But since returning to the lineup on Aug. 6, Jones has seemingly found the fountain of youth. The 39-year-old third baseman has hit .407 with four homers, a .431 on-base percentage and a .685 slugging percentage in 15 games this month. During this span, he has improved his batting average from .258 to .281.

Jones' impressive play has come while he has had the chance to regularly rest, like he did when he was not in the lineup for Thursday afternoon's series finale against the Cubs. He has started 13 of the 19 games that the Braves have played dating back to his Aug. 6 return to the lineup.

"He's played a lot of significant games and there's a lot of innings in that body," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We need to be aware of that."

Jones hit the 449th homer of his career during Wednesday night's loss to the Cubs. There's a chance he could hit his 450th while playing this weekend in front of a Mets fan base with which he has developed a love-hate relationship with over the years.