ATLANTA -- Down to the final regular-season homestand of his career, third baseman Chipper Jones intends to play in all six of the Braves' games against the Marlins and Mets this week.
On Monday, Jones tweeted "To answer all ur questions....Im playing every day this week.....get ur butts to the Ted!!!"
Jones has played on six consecutive days twice this season, but he didn't start all of the games. In each streak he appeared once as a pinch-hitter. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said as long as Jones says he's healthy, he will play.
"He wants to play all the games at home, and you can't blame him," Gonzalez said. "We sat down and spoke about it this afternoon. He wants to play all six, because he wants to be able to catch the Nationals and also give the fans here something to come out and watch."
Once the Braves clinch a playoff spot, which could happen as soon as Tuesday night, Gonzalez said he might use Jones more carefully, but the third baseman will continue to play as often as his health allows.
The Braves enter Tuesday five games behind the Nationals in the National League East with 10 to play. Such a deficit makes a comeback a long shot, but Gonzalez said the Braves will keep pushing to make sure they at least clinch home-field advantage in the Wild Card game and put pressure on the Nationals to win the division.
Even once the Braves' playoff position is locked in, Gonzalez said he doesn't believe in resting his regulars.
"I'm a big believer that in any kind of sports, no matter the size or shape of the ball, you can't turn it off and on," Gonzalez said. "I don't believe that. I think you still have to have some kind of intensity going into the last two or three games and the postseason."
Jones' intention to play every day will make it difficult for backup third baseman Juan Francisco to stay fresh. When Jones was playing more sparingly this summer, Francisco got into a groove at the plate. From the All-Star break until the end of August, Francisco played in 31 of the Braves' 46 games and hit .314 with a .569 slugging percentage.
In September, however, Jones has pushed himself to play as much as possible and Francisco's playing time has dried up. Francisco has played in just five games, most recently Sept. 15 against the Nationals. He is 2-for-14 with nine strikeouts this month.
Gonzalez said finding playing time for Francisco won't be easy, but joked, "That's why I get the big bucks."
Bourn's return to lineup pegged for Wednesday
ATLANTA -- Michael Bourn was forced to wait one more day before getting a chance to return to the Braves' starting lineup. Bourn jammed his left thumb while sliding headfirst into second base during the fourth inning of Saturday's win over the Phillies.
Bourn received encouraging news on Monday when noted hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie evaluated his thumb and did not find any structural damage. Bourn will likely be back in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Marlins.
"There was no ligament damage or broken bones, just sore," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's getting better. I left [the lineup] open for a while before he got here, just to make sure if we could play him, we'd play him. But we'll shoot for tomorrow."
Bourn just shook his head on Saturday when it was pointed out that this injury came just when it looked like he might be escaping his recent woes at the plate. Before notching his third multihit performance of the month on Saturday, the All-Star outfielder had hit .179 with a .301 on-base percentage in his previous 31 games.
Fredi brushes off Loria's recent comments
ATLANTA -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez did not provide much of a reaction when asked about Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria's decision to describe Gonzalez as a "colossal failure" during his years as the Marlins' manager.
"I saw the comments, and it is not that big of a deal," said Gonzalez, who was hired by Loria to serve as the Marlins' manager before the 2007 season and then fired midway through the '10 season.
The Miami Herald on Sunday quoted Gonzalez saying: "There's not a manager dead or alive that Jeffrey thinks is good enough. Not Connie Mack, not anyone."
Loria responded after the Marlins completed three-game series against the Mets on Sunday.
"Classless," Loria said to reporters waiting outside the Marlins' clubhouse. "And you can quote me on that. Especially because he was with us for five years and he was a colossal failure. Not nice. Not nice."
Gonzalez did not backtrack on the quotes that appeared in the original article.
"That's what I said," Gonzalez said. "When the guy asked the question, I said he's the owner of the team and a tough guy to please, and no matter who is managing his team, there's going to come a time when he doesn't think he's good enough. That's his prerogative."
Gonzalez said backup shortstop Paul Janish will likely require surgery in the offseason to repair the dislocated shoulder he suffered diving for a ball in the ninth inning last Tuesday. The Braves are still hopeful, however, that Janish will be able to get healthy enough to be available for the National League Division Series, should they advance that far.
The Braves announced right-hander Greg Ross was traded to the Tigers as the player to be named later to complete the deal that sent utility infielder Jeff Baker to Atlanta on Aug. 31. Ross, 22, was the Braves' 18th-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and had a 4.60 ERA in 131 innings at Class A Rome this season.