LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Fearing that he could aggravated his bruised right thumb, Chipper Jones opted to remove himself from Sunday afternoon's lineup. But the Braves' third baseman plans to return to action on Tuesday night to face Phillies ace Roy Halladay in a 7:05 ET game that will air live on MLB.TV
"I will be chomping at the bit," Jones said. "I want to see him. I faced Roy when he first got called up in the '90s, and I faced him in an All-Star Game a couple of years ago. Any look you can get at him, you want to get in there and get a look at him."
Obviously, Jones isn't too concerned about his thumb ailment, which he incurred when he got jammed with what he termed a 93-mph fastball during Friday afternoon's game against the Pirates. After having the chance to rest the ailment for three days, he seems confident he'll be able to take advantage of the opportunity to get an early look at Halladay, who will likely make a handful of regular-season starts against the Braves this year.
Halladay's lone career start against the Braves occurred in May, when he surrendered an eighth-inning run and lost a 1-0 duel against Kenshin Kawakami. His only previous regular-season appearance against Atlanta occurred on July 20, 1999.
Jones homered during the second of the two at-bats he recorded against the rookie right-hander that day. But during their most recent matchup in the 2008 All-Star Game, the two-time American League Cy Young Award winner induced a groundout from Jones.
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While he understands that Halladay will likely pitch him different than he might during the regular season, Jones wants to at least familiarize himself with the tall right-hander's delivery.
"I want to see what the action on his pitches is like and be able to formulate a gameplan going into the first time we face him during the regular season," Jones said.
Jones' thumb ailment is similar to the one he incurred in the final game of last year's Grapefruit League season. He was in the lineup for the Opening Night contest against the Phillies three days later, but he aggravated the injury in the second game and missed the series finale.
"It can be something that lingers for seven to 10 days," Jones said. "If you play on it every day, it might not get better. This early, it's best to take a couple of days. I could play with it now, but there's no sense in doing that."
Jones plans to compile a majority of his at-bats during the final 10 days of the exhibition season. During these early weeks, he primarily focuses on refining his mechanics and retraining his eyes to quickly react to certain pitches.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.