LOS ANGELES -- As Chipper Jones gingerly made his way around the visitors' clubhouse at Dodger Stadium on Monday, he was displaying some of the left knee discomfort that has intensified over the past couple of days.
"I just have days where [my left knee is] just not working," said Jones, who was not in the lineup for the opener against the Dodgers. "I've been having some consistent pain in the joint line. I've been getting some treatment on it for a little bit. Yesterday was about as bad as it's been since I had surgery. As you could tell, I was not moving down the line very good."
Since making an early return from a March 26 surgical procedure that repaired torn meniscus in his left knee, Jones has not played more than three games in a row. His recent discomfort has been located near the bottom portion of his knee, around the joint line.
Jones hopes to be in the lineup as he celebrates his 40th birthday on Tuesday. But considering the pain he felt as he attempted to get down the first-base line during Sunday's pinch-hit appearance, the veteran third baseman was not committing to the experience.
"It would be nice, but it's not going to hurt my feelings [if I don't]," Jones said. "The good thing about having Juan [Francisco] is he's provided us some power and some offense. It's not a necessity that I be in there. So I can take my time whenever I am not feeling good."
Acquired by the Reds just before the start of the season, Francisco has batted .286 (8-for-28) with three home runs. His presence has given Jones the confidence that the Braves can still get consistent production from third base whenever he is absent.
Because the Dodgers started left-hander Chris Capuano on Monday night, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez started Martin Prado at third base and Matt Diaz in left field. But he said there will be times when he is comfortable starting the left-handed-hitting Francisco against southpaws.
Wilson starts over Pastornicky for opener in LA
LOS ANGELES -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez plans to put shortstop Tyler Pastornicky in the starting lineup for the final two games of this week's series against the Dodgers. But because Jack Wilson had experienced some previous success against Chris Capuano, he gained a third consecutive start in Monday night's series opener.
Wilson entered Monday night's matchup having hit .370 (10-for-27) with a double and a home run in his career against Capuano. The 34-year-old veteran has made three consecutive starts since serving as the starting shortstop for just three of the Braves' first 14 games.
Pastornicky batted .136 in his first seven games this year and then enjoyed a three-game hitting streak that brought his batting average up to .200 on Thursday. But since going hitless on Friday, he has been on the bench.
Although Wilson does not possess the range he displayed early in his career, he is still considered the better defensive option.
"It's all part of the process," Pastornicky said. "I got off to an all-right start and then after some balls did not fall, I think I started to press and doing stuff I don't usually do. You find yourself putting yourself into a slump. It's just one of those things where you have to relax and do what I do best, which is to make good, consistent hard contact."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.