Chipper was smoking hot in the spring of 2011. Halfway through spring training, Jones said, “I’ve never felt this good from both sides of the plate in spring training.” And then he really got hot. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Braves hitting coach Larry Parrish said with a week left in spring training. “I’ve never seen anyone swing the bat like he has this spring.”
More important, Jones had more mobility than expected on his surgically repaired left knee, the one that was supposed to force his retirement. “He has moved very well,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. There was only one day — Jones’ third day of spring training, well before he was officially supposed to report — that Jones needed to skip a workout because his knee was too sore.