ATLANTA The Atlanta Braves will be minus Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson for a while.
The Braves put both stars on the 15-day disabled list Monday, a setback for a team trying to revive its fading hopes in the NL East.
Jones leads the majors in hitting at .369. He hurt his left hamstring running out a grounder Wednesday night and has been slow to heal.
Hudson is 11-7 with a 3.17 ERA. The right-hander has been feeling tightness in his pitching elbow.
Both went on the DL retroactive to Friday, the latest in a devastating series of injuries to strike the Braves this season.
Longtime ace John Smoltz is out for the season. So is reliever Peter Moylan. Two other key pitchers, Tom Glavine and Rafael Soriano, have spent significant time on the DL. Mike Hampton finally made his first appearance in nearly three years this last weekend.
"You can't sustain the injuries that we've sustained and expect to stay competitive at or near the top of the division," Jones said. "It's impossible, especially when we're replacing guys like myself, Smoltz and Glavine and Soriano and Moylan with minor league guys. You're just not going to get the same results."
Atlanta began the day 7 1/2 games behind division-leading New York after two excruciating losses in Philadelphia over the weekend. The Braves blew a six-run lead on Saturday and lost 10-9, then followed up by squandering a five-run cushion Sunday in a 12-10 defeat.
With the trade deadline coming up Thursday, there's plenty of speculation the Braves will start retooling their roster for 2009. First baseman Mark Teixeira, in the final year of his contract and determined to test free agency, is most likely to be dealt.
"It's awfully bleak because of the injury situation and the trade deadline coming up and the trade rumors swirling around here," Jones said. "We're already pointed towards next year."
The Braves also optioned left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes to Triple-A Richmond. Atlanta recalled pitcher Charlie Morton and catcher Clint Sammons from Richmond and activated reliever Jeff Bennett from the disabled list.
Morton was scheduled to start the opener of a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, and Jose Campillo, who went only 1 2/3 innings Sunday before the game was delayed by rain, will return Tuesday to take Hudson's spot in the rotation.
All-Star catcher Brian McCann sustained a mild concussion in a collision at home plate at Philadelphia on Sunday. He is expected to miss three or four games.
"I feel like I thought would: headache, neck hurts, jaw's sore," McCann said.
Jones said he probably could have returned in less than 15 days, but knew the team needed another position player with McCann hurting.
"It's disappointing," he said. "I felt like I could have helped us that last series and maybe pushed us over the top."
Reyes was 3-9 with a 5.34 ERA in 16 games, all but one of them as a starter. Manager Bobby Cox said the left-hander has made changes in his delivery and needs to become more comfortable in game situations.
"I'm not mad about it," Reyes said. "I kind of had a feeling. I haven't been pitching very good the last three or four outings."
POSADA SURGERY SET: If the New York Yankees are going to earn a 14th consecutive playoff berth, they'll have to do it without Jorge Posada. The five-time All-Star catcher will have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder, ending his attempt to return to the lineup for New York's postseason push. Posada has struggled with shoulder pain most of the season, weakening his throws and limiting his playing time behind the plate. Posada is expected to be sidelined at least six months, and it's not certain that he'll be ready for the start of spring training in February.
WOOD NOT CLOSE: Cubs reliever Kerry Wood threw in the bullpen on Monday, but manager Lou Piniella said his closer is not close to returning from a blister on his pitching hand. Wood is eligible to return Tuesday at Milwaukee, but he still hasn't fully recovered from the blister on his right index finger that's kept him out since July 11. Also, first-base coach Matt Sinatro was suspended for two games Monday after making contact with an umpire during a weekend dispute. Special assistant Ivan DeJesus took over for Sinatro at first. Sinatro and Piniella were fined undisclosed amounts by Major League Baseball vice president Bob Watson.
TEAM GIVING FREE TICKETS: The minor league baseball team that plays in an area damaged by Hurricane Dolly is providing a different sort of relief: Free tickets for the rest of the season. The Harlingen WhiteWings of the independent United League will let fans walk into their final nine home games. "With everyone being impacted by the storm, we want to do our part," general manager Dave Kost said. The hurricane downed power lines in Harlingen and forced the airport to close. The WhiteWings next play at home Wednesday night against the Laredo Broncos. "You won't need to buy a ticket. Just come by our offices or the ticket windows to get as many tickets as you need," Kost said.
BURNETT 'NOT GOING ANYWHERE': Pitcher A.J. Burnett will be sticking with the Toronto Blue Jays. Asked whether the Blue Jays would deal Burnett before Thursday's trade deadline, general manager J.P. Ricciardi was emphatic. "He's not going anywhere," Ricciardi said before Burnett pitched Monday against Tampa Bay. Burnett is in the third year of a five-year, $55 million contract. He can opt out of the deal after this season.
ROCKIES CALL UP DE LOS SANTOS: The Colorado Rockies have called up left-handed pitcher Valerio De Los Santos from Triple-A Colorado Springs to start in Monday night's game at Pittsburgh. The Rockies optioned right-hander Ryan Speier to Colorado Springs to make room for De Los Santos on the roster.
The 35-year-old De Los Santos was 3-5 with an ERA of 4.92 in 17 games at Colorado Springs this season, including seven starts.
Speier was 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA in 30 games for the Rockies this season.