Lake Buena Vista, Fla – With Troy Glaus at first base, Chipper Jones said any throw that’s too high for Glaus to reach will be a “well-earned error.”
Glaus is 6 feet 5.
A former Gold Glove third baseman, Glaus has played only six games at first base in his entire career. But when the 33-year-old took ground balls Tuesday in the Braves’ first full-squad workout, he didn’t look at all out of position.
“He looked smooth,” manager Bobby Cox said.
“Troy’s a good athlete,” Jones said “There’s some footwork issues that are probably going to have to get worked on. But it’s not like he’s completely unfamiliar with it. He does have a little bit of experience over there, and he came up in an organization [Angels] that’s very big on working on the fundamentals, so I’m sure he was taught well.
“The guy’s a Gold Glover over there at third. Excellent third baseman. I have no doubt in my mind that he will make the transition seem easy. You’re a good defender at a corner position, I think you can be a good defender at any corner position.”
D. Hernandez out till midseason
You can scratch Diory Hernandez from the list of utility-infield candidates, for now.
He had shoulder surgery and could be out until midseason. Hernandez, 25, hurt his left (non-throwing) shoulder sliding into a base in the Dominican winter league, and the surgery was done to tighten the shoulder capsule.
Brooks Conrad and winter free-agent signee Joe Thurston are expected to compete for the second backup infield job, which might be the only position battle this spring. Veteran Omar Infante is back as the primary backup infielder.
Eric Hinske will be the backup first baseman and also has experience at third base and the outfield corners.
Hernandez hit .141 (12-for-85) with three doubles and a home run in 33 games as a rookie in 2009. His first start was at shortstop May 23 against Toronto, and his nine assists in that game were the most by a Braves shortstop since Rafael Furcal in 2002.
Prado follows Diaz’s example
Martin Prado reported to spring training with a starting job and a slimmer physique.
The Braves utility man-turned-second baseman lost 14 pounds this winter following the P90X fitness program, the same one that outfielder Matt Diaz used successfully the previous offseason.
Prado said he’s stronger and “more agile” after burning pounds off his midsection while at the same time working to strengthen his upper body.
He took the second-base job from slumping Kelly Johnson at the end of June and thrived in the everyday role, finishing the season with a .307 average, 38 doubles and 11 home runs.
Johnson was expendable and signed with Arizona after being non-tendered by the Braves in the offseason.
“We’ve got [Prado] in the lineup from the get-go this year, which could make a difference,” Cox said.