ATLANTA -- Chipper Jones still does not believe he benefited from his latest Minor League rehab assignment. But after playing two games with Class A Rome, he was able to convince the Braves to activate him from the disabled list in time to start Sunday's game against the Blue Jays.
"I told them I was fine when I went down there," Jones said. "I told them I could have played nine [innings] the first game down there. My legs felt great. I didn't even have any soreness the second day. There's no limitations."
Jones started at third base and returned to his familiar third spot in the lineup on Sunday. The Braves created a roster spot for him by optioning Jose Constanza to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Given that Jones had recorded just one pinch-hit appearance since getting hit on the left calf on May 18, the Braves wanted the 40-year-old third baseman to stretch out his legs during this brief rehab assignment.
"I think they just wanted to make sure I didn't come off the DL and tweak a groin or a hamstring or something and then have to go back on the DL," said Jones, who played five innings on Friday night and six innings on Saturday.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said that Jones will continue to be given a chance to take a game or two off every week. The opportunity to get some regular rest has seemingly benefited him as he has hit .307 with five home runs and an .862 OPS in 29 games this year.
Jones will wear a protective guard to cover both his right and left ankles while batting. He can only hope he is not reintroduced to the misfortune he experienced when he was hit on the left calf with a ball that skipped off the Tropicana Field turf before hitting him on May 18. An ugly bruise formed and worsened until he was placed on the disabled list a week later.
"I've seen plenty of guys spike a slider and guys get hit in the back foot, back ankle," Jones said. "I think if I took another one off that area, just take me out back and shoot me."
Constanza batted .250 with a .250 on-base percentage while playing 12 games during this most recent stint in Atlanta. The speedy outfielder's two-hit performance in Saturday's win over the Blue Jays snapped an 0-for-16 skid.