NORTH PORT, Fla. – A Braves legend is expected to rejoin the coaching staff for the upcoming season.
Hall of Famer Chipper Jones will be a major-league hitting consultant for the franchise this season, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Athletic first reported the news.
Jones served in this role in 2021. Last year, MLB required its managers and coaches to be up to date on their vaccinations, and Jones was not part of the staff. MLB has not officially released its vaccination rules for 2023.
As a major-league hitting consultant, Jones will work with the Braves’ hitters before home games, just as he did in 2021. He isn’t expected to travel with the team or be in the dugout during home games.
In February 2021, Jones told reporters he liked the flexibility he felt the role would offer him.
“I would much rather go to the ballpark from noon to 6 o’clock every day and be home for dinner and put the kids to bed and wake up and take them to school and watch the games on TV,” Jones said then. “That’s about as good as it gets for me.”\
During his illustrious career, Jones was a National League MVP and an eight-time All-Star. The 1995 World Series champion also won two Silver Slugger Awards and a batting title.
While talking to reporters a couple years ago, Jones offered a bit about his philosophy toward coaching.
“If you as a hitting coach are stubborn in trying to make everybody hit like you did, you’re an idiot,” Jones said. “A good hitting coach knows what every single hitter does well, knows the weaknesses of all their hitters and helps them be the best version of them they can be. Certainly I will suggest some of the things that I did, but If the player has not bought in 100 percent to that idea, you’re just wasting your time. That’s why I say I think it’s great that there are four guys in our camp that can reach every single hitter.”
Monday marked the report date for pitchers and catchers participating in the World Baseball Classic. Only four Braves are participating in the WBC, but many more have already reported to camp.
Among them: Ronald Acuña, Ozzie Albies, Spencer Strider and Ian Anderson. Strider threw off the mound at the facility.
Newcomer Sean Murphy is also already in North Port. So, too, is Kevin Pillar, the outfielder who is a non-roster invitee hoping to make the team.
Joe Jiménez, the reliever acquired in December, is also here.
Of course, the players listed are far from the only ones who have reported to North Port at this point.