Braves shortstop Pastornicky: “I’m ready to do this.”

Tyler Pastornicky told reporters in September that he couldn’t afford to think about possibly being the Braves’ shortstop as soon as the 2012 season, that he just needed to keep working and be ready when he got his chance.

It looks like we’re about to find out if he’s ready.

Barring anything unexpected in the next two months, it looks as if the Braves will go into the upcoming season with the speedy rookie as their regular shortstop and veteran Jack Wilson as his backup. The Braves didn’t try to retain slick-fielding, weak-hitting veteran Alex Gonzalez, who signed a free-agent contract with Milwaukee.

Pastornicky had a career-best season in 2011, hitting .314 with a .359 on-base percentage, seven homers and 27 stolen bases in 117 games last season at Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett. He hit .365 in 27 games for Gwinnett before missing the final month with a sprained ankle.

He was added to Atlanta’s roster for the last game of the season but didn’t play in the loss to Philadelphia.

A native of Bradenton, Fla., Pastornicky turned 22 in December and could join Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman to give the Braves three lineup regulars 22 or younger. The last team to win a league championship with three regulars 22 or younger was the 1970 Cincinnati Reds.

This week, Pastornicky talked with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien about the the upcoming season and his possible role with the big-league Braves.

Q: When we asked you in September about possibly being the Braves’ shortstop in 2012, here’s what you said: “I’m just trying to get better. If it’s my time, it’s my time. If it’s not, I’ve just got to wait. I’m just trying to get better, and when they call my name I’m going to be ready.”

Well, does it feel like it’s your time and are you ready?

A: I’m definitely ready. I’ve still got a lot of hard work to do. Hopefully it works out that way, but I definitely feel like I’m ready to go. I’m confident. I think I’m ready to do this.

Q: At what point this winter did you start to really believe you might be the Braves’ shortstop in 2012? Has any team official told you it could go that way, or are you just hearing it from other people?

A: That’s another thing — I truly don’t look at all the media. I’ve got a lot of my friends who send me links and everything. I tell them, guys I don’t want to read it, but it’s just them being friends. I still have to come into camp and play hard. It’s definitely not set by any means. I have to come in and play hard. I haven’t been told anything like that [that he’ll be the starter]. I wouldn’t expect [to be told that before spring training]. I’ve got to go in and show them I’m ready. That’s my job to do.

Q: But how excited are you, and does the possibility drive you more during your offseason workouts?

A: Oh definitely. The opportunity is out there for me, so it’s something that motivates you a little more to get through your workouts, an incentive, having that in the back of your mind that it could possibly happen.

Q: How have you spent the offseason, as far as workouts? Done anything different than past years?

A: Yeah, I got right to it this year and didn’t take much time off. With the ankle injury I had about a month off during the season, so I felt like I was ready to go immediately [in the offseason]. My ankle was healed so I got going. I’ve added about 10, 11 pounds and I feel like I’ve gained some strength and speed. Physically I feel really well.”

Q: Talk a little bit about your plan of going to California to work out with Jack Wilson next month before camp starts. How did that come about?

A: At the end of last year when I got called up the last day of the season, I was talking to him, picking his brain, asking him some questions. He’s a great guy who’s had a great career. He mentioned something about coming out there to work out with him. I didn’t know how serious he was, but we stayed in touch and when he signed [with the Braves] he said ‘Come out, you’ve got a job to win.’ I said let’s do it; can’t turn that down. It just goes to show what type of guy he really is…. I’m going out there Feb. 15, then I’ll go straight to spring training from there.

Q: When were you completely healed from the sprained ankle that sidelined you for the final weeks of the Triple-A season?

A: When I got called up the last day I was pretty much healed, I was doing cuts and everything at that point. Then after the season I came home, saw my trainer and continued to do the rehab and after about another week it was 100 percent healed. It hasn’t restricted me one bit.

Q: Was it beneficial you to get the callup on the last day of the season with the Braves, even though you didn’t get to play in that season-ending loss to the Phillies?

A: Definitely. It was pretty cool getting called up the last day, being in that atmosphere, walking in and seeing the focus, seeing how everything went down. Guys can play a long time in the big leagues and not get to experience something like that. You could see it’s all about winning, not about whether you went 0-for-4 or hit a home run.

It’s tough [losing the season finale and missing the playoffs]. It was not easy being in there, but it was definitely a good experience to get to see that. It just shows you how much it really means to those guys, that it really doesn’t matter what they did in that game or how their season went — a lot of guys in there had a great year, but still they were crushed [after the loss]. It was a good experience for me to be able to see how much it really means to them.

Q: You mentioned in September wanting to regain some weight you’d lost last season and get a little stronger. You say you’ve able to do that this winter?

A: Oh yeah, I got with my trainer and told him what I wanted to be able to accomplish, and we laid out a good workout plan and also a nutrition plan. I got a nutritionist and I’ve been eating good. Lot of proteins, lot of carbs.

Q: What have Jack or other Braves told you about what to expect at spring training?

A: Just to come in and play hard, because everything  that I’m going to do is going to be watched. I’m going to be under the microscope, and that’s good. I’m going to ask a lot of questions of guys who have done it before, older guys and guys like Jason [Heyward].

I’m confident, and I think that’s a good thing. I don’t think you can go in there and be timid. I’m going to respect the veterans and everything they’re about. But I’m going to go in and be confident. I do think it’s definitely best to go in those first couple of years and do more with your ears than your mouth.

Q: I would imagine that spending some time in big-league camp last year helps you now, to sort of know the lay of the land?

A: For sure. It was a good experience going through that, seeing how guys go through their daily routines, how they get themselves ready. It was beneficial from that aspect.

Q: How long were you in camp?

A: I was there until the first cuts and then got called up for a few [spring training] games.

Q: If you get the starting job, the Braves will have three players 22-or-younger among their regular lineup. Does the first-year success of the other two, Freddie Freeman last year and Jason Heyward in 2010, help you believe you can come in and contribute?

A: Definitely. Jason and Freddie both are extremely talented, but it shows you that young guys can go up there and have success if they play their game and go about their business the right way. It’s a confidence builder to see that from young guys when they go up there.”

Q: Do you have goals in mind for next season, specific statistical goals?

A: Not so much statistical goals. I want to go in camp ready to go, that’s something I’ve said since the end of last year, to go into camp and be able to play my best. Whatever happens [with the roster and lineup], I can’t control a lot of that stuff. I’m going to control what I can control and play hard.

Q: What were you most pleased about with your performance last season – any areas where you set goals and were able to meet them?

A: Yeah, the consistency thing was a big one for me last year. That was my main goal, to be more consistent. In previous years I felt like I had a good year, and then I’d look back at the stats after the season and see I hit .270 and think, oh man. I thought about it a lot and realized I could do better if there weren’t as many ups and downs, if it wasn’t such a rocky ride, if it was smoother. I definitely had a more consistent season [in 2011].

Q: What do you think will be the biggest keys for you to succeed at the big-league level, offensively and defensively?

A: I think just to play my game, not try to be something that I’m not. Play my game and do whatever I can to help the team win. Whatever that is, if that’s bunting, taking an extra base, whatever is asked of me that’s going to help me have a successful season.

Q: How good a base-stealer do you think you can be at the big-league level?

A: Pretty good. I’ve definitely picked the brains of some good base stealers. I think I’m pretty good on the bases, I’m pretty fast and my speed’s gotten better this offseason. I’ve worked on my jumps, and hopefully in camp I’ll get to talk to Michael Bourn and get some tips that he uses.

Q: You came to the Braves from Toronto as part of the July 2010 shortstop trade that sent Yunel Escobar to the Blue Jays for Alex Gonzalez. Now it looks like you’ll be replacing Gonzalez in the lineup.  Does it feel like things have moved quickly?

A: Yeah, it’s kind of cool. I was talking about it the other day with a couple of guys I was working out with, how it was the best thing that could have happened to me, to be able to come over here [to the Braves] and show what I can do. It has happened pretty fast, but I put myself in position for it to happen. A lot of it’s to do with the Braves organization, and a lot’s to do with myself, to be able to step up and have the year I had.

Q: You don’t seem overwhelmed by it. Has your dad [third baseman Cliff Pastornicky made it to the majors with Kansas City in 1983] helped you in that regard, helping you prepare mentally?

A: Absolutely. I think having that as backing behind you — from even before I signed, he was telling me what to expect, how to go into it. And ever since then he’s given me heads  up, hints on how to go through it. He’s let me learn my lessons  and take some bumps and bruises. But a lot of guy can get mixed up in the shuffle and I was able to get through it pretty quick.

186 comments Add your comment

Venice Jim

January 25th, 2012
2:18 pm

Thanks, DOB!

flange1

January 25th, 2012
2:25 pm

As usual, great job DOB!

Michael Bryan

January 25th, 2012
2:27 pm

Go get’um, Tyler!

Jimmy

January 25th, 2012
2:31 pm

Good read DOB!

renegade#1

January 25th, 2012
2:35 pm

Hope P-nicky shows out. ROY how cool would that be?

BravesFanLostInOhio

January 25th, 2012
2:41 pm

Nice interview. Glad to see he is so excited to work hard!

AdirondackDave

January 25th, 2012
2:43 pm

The kid seems to have an excellent attitude to go along with his physical skills. I’ll be pulling for him.

PMC

January 25th, 2012
2:45 pm

Pastornicky came over in the Escobar trade right?

Rob

January 25th, 2012
2:50 pm

Thanks DOB, good read.

Rob

January 25th, 2012
2:51 pm

PMC – Yes, he did. Just like it says in the article.

Bob the Blogger

January 25th, 2012
2:51 pm

Yes, that was the nice thing about the trade – Toronto sent us Alex G.’s successor along with him in exchange for Escobar. Look’s like it might be working out real well for the Braves.

Chuck Simon's Barber Shop

January 25th, 2012
2:52 pm

Dave, good interview, best of luck to T-Pas. A bit off topic: A small group of hard core fans from the shop are planning to go to the team workouts Feb 27-29, before the spring sched starts. Info is scant from the organization on tickets for these times. Any info you can share? Thanks

charles

January 25th, 2012
3:00 pm

If he is going to talk to Heyward about playing hard and hitting then you might as well send him to the minors because he is done.

Rob

January 25th, 2012
3:04 pm

Charles – that is incredibly incorrect, insulting, and likely a little bit racist.

Bat Masterson

January 25th, 2012
3:04 pm

Good interview, David.

He seems like a sharp levelheaded kid.

Zach

January 25th, 2012
3:08 pm

DOB, you mean 2011 for tyler’s best season, right?

SRC

January 25th, 2012
3:10 pm

The whole “number of teams” or “last team” w/ 3 players under 23 to accomplish X isn’t really the best gauge, I don’t think. There are probably very few teams through history that had three starters less than age 23, simply because every year people get older.

charles

January 25th, 2012
3:11 pm

@ Rob Its not racist. Your just another Heyward lover. When are you guys realize that he is OVERRATED

Hughdaman

January 25th, 2012
3:11 pm

Wow! It only took 14 post before the race card was thrown out.

Rob

January 25th, 2012
3:12 pm

If by “lover” you mean I can see his potential and can see that potential backed up by statistics, then yes. I’m a lover of a guy who gets on base at an absurd rate, plays good defense with a plus arm, and has power potential. You are a “hater” who thinks he is lazy with no reason to back that up. I bet you’re a huge Costanza fan.

smyrnabob

January 25th, 2012
3:15 pm

Good luck Tyler. He will be replacing the number 8 bat, so hopefully his defense will be good enough to keep him around long enough to see how good his bat can become. Gonzo and Uggla actually had a nice double play pivot going last year.

WestGaBrave

January 25th, 2012
3:15 pm

Heyward said all the right things last year and sucked. I hope they all play close to their potential this year!

charles

January 25th, 2012
3:22 pm

if YOU think 246avg 14 hrs and running his mouth is statistics then i guess your right that he is a so called superstar.

alanfalcon

January 25th, 2012
3:28 pm

Good luck, once again the Braves have a potential winner, just field your position and don’t worry about the bat, can’t be any worse than Gonzo in the box.

Tommy Dew

January 25th, 2012
3:32 pm

What a well spoken, grounded kid. Having a dad in the Majors is a big advantage. Kudos to Jack Wilson for being a mentor. I can’t wait for Spring Training.

1eyedJack

January 25th, 2012
3:44 pm

Everybody is going to have their career year this year. A fella can dream. ;)

donte080

January 25th, 2012
3:44 pm

For a team in the playoff hunt, braves sure better be right about a 22 year old wet-behind-the ears kid to play the vital position of SS…To me, that’s a huge risk with not a viable Plan B option.

j

January 25th, 2012
3:49 pm

Best of luck to him! Please don’t ask Heyward anything. We don’t need bad attitudes rubbing off on him

Hey Charles, listen to 680 the fan and others who actually interview him. Your opinion may be really different.

Jamesh

January 25th, 2012
3:49 pm

@ Charles funny how because u think he’s overrated that it is fact.Reality is he’s only had 2 seasons u can’t call a 22 year old kid with so little experience as overrated. There is such a thing called growing pains and having to learn how to adjust to the league after it’s adjusted to you.Let the kid be around for awhile before you jump to conclusions with so little evidence.

Mike#1

January 25th, 2012
3:50 pm

People that criticize Braves players on a Braves blog should probably use proper grammar to avoid looking like a complete moron in addition to looking like a douchebag.

J T Ellenwood

January 25th, 2012
3:55 pm

Charles you need to give Heyward another chances don’t throw the towel in on Heyward yet.

Fastball

January 25th, 2012
3:58 pm

Don’t count on him being the shortstop.

Bud

January 25th, 2012
4:00 pm

What is the possiblilty of Pastornicky or Andrelton Simmons eventually being the centerfielder for the Braves. I read that Simmons is looking real good at shortstop as well, but is a year or two away. We need a speedy centerfielder. I am looking at the regulars for the 2014 team (maybe 2013) as; C, McCann; 1b, Freeman; 2b, Uggla; 3b, Terdoslavich; ss, Pastornicky; lf, Prado; cf, ???; rf, Hayward.

We need a centerrfielder (I think Bourn will be too expensive after this year). So, can Pastornicky or Simmons move to centerfield?

Michael B

January 25th, 2012
4:00 pm

I saw Pastornicky play a few games in the minors and came away impressed by his plate approach. He never walked a lot, but he saw alot of pitches (fouled off 7 in one at bat in one of his AAA games) and made solid contact. My gut feeling is he will hold his own and win the job outright in the spring. Not sure how long he will be able to hold off Andrelton Simmons though.

urban redneck

January 25th, 2012
4:00 pm

i like this kid a lot. i wonder what we will do with him in a year or so when andrelton simmons comes up………..

and, to the j-hey bashers, get ready to eat crow……….or get back on the heyward bandwagon like the true bouchedags they are, saying they never lost faith.

charles

January 25th, 2012
4:01 pm

There is such a thing as running your mouth on how good you are and not showing it on the field. I am not going to say anymore because DOB kicked off my good friend Honey Bee on another site about saying the same things about your precious Heyward.

Michael B

January 25th, 2012
4:02 pm

Bud-
Simmons is definitely athletic enough to make the transistion but if he’s going to be moved to another position it’s going to be pitcher. Not sure Pastornicky has the arm for CF.

Michael B

January 25th, 2012
4:04 pm

However, I could see Pastornicky into a Martin Prado type super utility guy.

Michael B

January 25th, 2012
4:05 pm

that should say I could see Pastornicky turning into a Martin Prado type super utility guy.

Ken Stallings

January 25th, 2012
4:09 pm

When I compare him to what both shortstops from last season could do, I think this is an easy choice to give him the reins and see what happens. Maybe the kid will be the next Rafael Furcal!

Ken Stallings

January 25th, 2012
4:13 pm

Good interview and insight into the kid’s makeup. He seems to have a good and well-grounded head on his shoulders!

Trainwreck

January 25th, 2012
4:17 pm

Hope he can keep up the run of successful Braves rookies… also hope Freeman plays better his sophomore year and Heyward comes back strong from his sophomore slump. Also hope I reach in my pocket and find $1,000,000

Trainwreck

January 25th, 2012
4:17 pm

Well… no money but still holding on to hope for the rest of the Braves!

MikeY

January 25th, 2012
4:22 pm

My problem w/ Heyward is that he hit .192 against LH pitching last year. I think we need a platoon partner for him in RF, and I do not think that is Diaz. In fact, the Braves as a whole were dead last in the majors vs. LH pitching. We need a RH bat that can handle the tough lefties.

And I hope Pastornicky can handle the job. I am more worried about his fielding than his hitting. He had 26 errors last year, in 117 games: Gonzalez has just 12 in 149 games. I hope Pastornicky improves.

AZBravoFan

January 25th, 2012
4:24 pm

Maybe we can have “Tyler’s Pastors” behind the 3rd base dugout ….

Bob in SF

January 25th, 2012
4:32 pm

How great is it to have a pro like Jack Wilson take you under his wing? That will be invaluable to Tyler not only this season but the rest of his career.

Obee

January 25th, 2012
4:34 pm

Oh come on! I was hoping for a lot more whining.

Michael B

January 25th, 2012
4:36 pm

That would be an interesting group. I can see Tyler’s Pastors being a bunch of guys in khakis and a dress shrit holding up bibles whenever he does well.

lanier

January 25th, 2012
4:43 pm

we need more DOB its almost Braves Time. crank up the computor and fire out more stuff. the season is right around the corner

wjones

January 25th, 2012
4:43 pm

Not saying it is a complete reason, but remember Gonzo had Freeman at first and Pastor…did not. Throw in better quality of major league fields and some hard work, and I bet we see the errors go down. As for offense, Pastor runs better, and one would think that he would do better than Gonzo’s .270 OBP, or you will see us make a stop-gap trade.

Skeezix

January 25th, 2012
4:58 pm

What’s with all the Heyward bashing? He is very young, had a great rookie year (all star) but a very so, so sophomore year. In MLB, the second year is often a lousy one. He is not lazy and has a great attitude. He has had some injuries. When he gets it figured out, with his potential and strength, he is going to be like a reincarnation of Fred McGriff–only hitting the ball further.
He does need to improve in RF—both his range and his throwing.
There is no doubt that the most exciting Braves moment in recent history was his first at bat two seasons ago. It was electric.
So come on guys, cut him some slack.

meh

January 25th, 2012
5:06 pm

Good luck to him. Pretty much anything would better than Gonzalez.

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

January 25th, 2012
5:09 pm

nice interview and exciting to have another promising youngster to watch, BUT relying on him to produce is a gamble.

I also would not say that Jack Wilson has had a “great career” as TP states. Solid, average, but well short of great…..

wjones

January 25th, 2012
5:11 pm

Skeezix, Amen, Brother. You’d think that some on the board consider it unmanly to write a single positive phrase about a player, an executive, or the team.

bowman

January 25th, 2012
5:11 pm

Gonzalez was slick-fielding when he could get to the ball. With a range of five feet, that wasn’t too often.

Looking forward to the kid coming in and giving us some exciting defense and electrifying offense.

Terrance

January 25th, 2012
5:21 pm

All Tyler needs to do is play good defense and show good plate discipline. Batting in front of the pitcher can be beneficial to him because he get pitched around at times. He can then utilize his speed on the base paths and cause havoc. Good luck Tyler looking forward to your contributions to the team.

Winter of George

January 25th, 2012
5:24 pm

Not so fast my friend….. P-Nicky, you’ll get your chance, but you’ve got to earn it.

Winter of George

January 25th, 2012
5:28 pm

Dave O’B…..I want credit for giving the P-Nicky name!

Don in TN

January 25th, 2012
5:34 pm

I like the way this kid talks, hope he does well. Good luck to him!

charles

January 25th, 2012
5:42 pm

Talking and doing are two different things. Just another Heyward all talk no do.

David O'Brien

January 25th, 2012
5:56 pm

There is such a thing as running your mouth on how good you are and not showing it on the field. I am not going to say anymore because DOB kicked off my good friend Honey Bee on another site about saying the same things about your precious Heyward. — charles

No, I didn’t ban anyone named Honey Bee “on another site,” whatever that means.

Gulf Coast

January 25th, 2012
6:01 pm

Great article, DOB. Should have asked him good places to park near McKechnie Field!

David O'Brien

January 25th, 2012
6:02 pm

Gulf Coast: that was good. Glad to know that story still resonates. It wasn’t fun at the time, but quite amusing after the fact.

OklahomaBrave

January 25th, 2012
6:08 pm

Dob, I think Charles believes you also run Capitol ave. too. He should be banned for not knowing what he’s talking about and befriending stupid honey bee. Whenever you start a saber blog let me know. I’m sure you have the time (sarcasm).

Disgusted

January 25th, 2012
6:11 pm

We have no choice but to wish Pastornicky the best and for those who do not see minor league baseball much, this will be out first real look at him.

I like what I read. Will find out if I like what I will see.

As for Heyward, at least give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being. He had a very good rookie yr in ‘10.

If he is struggling after 200 or so AB, then we should worry.

You know ownership is going to provide zilch, so we have to get behind out young players, have no choice. The only help on the way is what we have in house.

john

January 25th, 2012
6:23 pm

Good to see that Tyler has a good head on his shoulders–very mature answers–looking forward to seeing what he can do–Good luck Tyler! Go Braves!

Brownie

January 25th, 2012
6:30 pm

Got to think that based on what we’re hearing, Andrelton Simmons is the future SS for the Braves – he’s just not ready yet. Pastornicky has a chance to show he can play – speed, glove, and whatever bat he can bring. If the bat is strong, then you might see him replace Chipper at 3rd in ‘13. although, I know people think Terdoslavich is destined for 3rd.

Nice to have some options coming up.

Braves are gonna be young, younger, youngest for the next few years.

bruce

January 25th, 2012
6:34 pm

Dave, this story is an energizer…. look forward to hearing the vets give you their initial impressions of Passty or Nicky during ST… T minus 24 til PCR!!!

milo

January 25th, 2012
7:02 pm

So basically they are paying Jack Wilson a million to tudor and look over Taylor? Not a bad job, Im glad Jack is ok with it.

ohhhhYEAH

January 25th, 2012
7:09 pm

Heyward had a very good rookie year…..UNTIL he got hurt, missed the all-star game, and slumped all the way down the stretch, including a horrible post-season showing. Then he picked right back up last season with another first AB home run, and then after about three weeks he went in the tank…for good it seemed. So to say he had a very good rookie year is wrong. He had a vrey good FIRST HALF of his rookie year. In fact, he had an amazing first-half of his rookie year, but it just didnt stick with him for the whole year. Not to mention, he has now been hurt and missed a decent amount of time in both of his first two seasons. That doesn’t bode well.

ohhhhYEAH

January 25th, 2012
7:11 pm

milo….Who the f is “Taylor”? I wasn’t aware we had anyone on the team by that name

Bravefaninok

January 25th, 2012
7:37 pm

MikeY

January 25th, 2012
4:22 pm

My problem w/ Heyward is that he hit .192 against LH pitching last year. I think we need a platoon partner for him in RF, and I do not think that is Diaz. In fact, the Braves as a whole were dead last in the majors vs. LH pitching. We need a RH bat that can handle the tough lefties.

And I hope Pastornicky can handle the job. I am more worried about his fielding than his hitting. He had 26 errors last year, in 117 games: Gonzalez has just 12 in 149 games. I hope Pastornicky improves.

Jeter had like 35 errors his last year in the minors and he turned out alright.

hawesg

January 25th, 2012
9:19 pm

I thought Pastornicky was the new Defense Against Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts.

Bill

January 25th, 2012
9:23 pm

The kid sounds ready to go..good luck, now get it done.

Great interview DOB.

onlyonce

January 25th, 2012
9:41 pm

@ charles

Don’t worry about Robs comments, to some people anything you say, except praise, about a black person makes you a raciest, even if you didn’t know that person was black.

bustersonly

January 25th, 2012
9:47 pm

Heyward has a hole in his swing, or bat, and all the pitchers now know where it is and will continue to pitch to that sopt until J-Hey adjusts, it he can that is, hope Rob doesn’t call me a raceist.

rayk

January 25th, 2012
10:13 pm

excellent interview !
I wouldn’t describe Wilson’s career as “great” though.

he has to be the SS so he’ll learn as he goes. how much better he hits than Gonzalez is debatable, but he is much cheaper – and that is the main criteria nowadays.

that OF still looks pretty feeble though. by July when we’re in 3rd or 4th and 15 games out, maybe we can trade Bourn.

Kat

January 25th, 2012
10:15 pm

I met Tyler last summer when they played at Syracuse. None of the fans knew who he was and everyone was waiting for Teheran instead. Tyler was very nice – I wish him good luck this season.

Mitchell

January 26th, 2012
3:02 am

I saw a video of him on the Braves website. He seems really excited to give it his best shot.

Best of luck to him and us.

Let’s hope he doesn’t end up like:

Jordan Schafer
Yunel Escobar
Kelly Johnson
Jeff Francoeur, etc.

Or like Jason Heyward or Nate McLouth, Dan Uggla, Alex Gonzalez or any Brave prospect, trade or free agent acquisition who comes to Atlanta with great or even just slightly average expectations and falls flat.

Preston Hannatized.

January 26th, 2012
7:23 am

The Braves couldn’t even afford $3M for Cody Ross (the Red Sox could). Ross would have been a far more significant 4th OF and RH bat than Matt Diaz, no?

Bill M.

January 26th, 2012
8:03 am

The Braves deny any talk of selling. You will see some action when the Dodger’s are sold. Can’t wait until we get an owner who cares. The Braves are only a couple of players away from being really good.

Jeff

January 26th, 2012
8:06 am

I think it’s pretty funny how race will get brought up in EVERY single article or discussion where a black athlete is involved. This interview, which was done nicely DOB, and all of the comments should be focused on the athletes talents and their futures. We have 3 extremely talented 22ish players on our team this year. Yes, there is a learning curve for rookies and young players, but I trust our GM and coaches to get these kids ready for “The Show”. Best of luck to these kids and to our team in 2012. Go Braves

curt

January 26th, 2012
8:20 am

Interesting interview with Terry McGuirk and very disheartening if you are a fan. While I think that having a young team and building from within is a good idea, organizations can’t have every single piece that makes a winning team. There are times when you have to go outside and it is clear that the Braves are hamstrung by a budget. Yes,excessive overspending is not the way go go but as fans, all we see is teams within the division with budgets TWICE the Braves’ and these teams have sought out the best talent they can find to produce a winning team.

McGuirk is blaming everyone but himself and Liberty for the problem. He blames the fans for not filling the seats because if we did, the budget would be larger. He blames Time Warner for signing a television contract that at the time he probably concurred with.

Whatever happened to build it and they will come?

I think the Braves will be competitive this year but I seriously doubt they will make the playoffs and I think McGuirk is fine with this.

And, as the Braves continue to drift lower in the division, the fans will stay away which will result in future budget cuts will result in less of a team which in the end will put the Braves in the same catagory as the likes of Kansas City or Pittsburgh.

Its time for new ownership of this team…NOW

Cecil34

January 26th, 2012
8:21 am

Has anyone read the interview Tim Tucker did with Terry McGuirk?

I noticed comments cannot be made on that article – if they could, it would probably blow up AJC’s site.

Braves’ fans need to read this.

If there ever was a black and white statement by Liberty Media that they are in it just for the investment and whatever capital they can gain, this is it.

Despite Terry’s spin, It is obvious that:

1 – Liberty Media intends to keep costs (including payroll) down so as to at least break even so that the worth of the franchise increases (even from inflation of dollars) no matter what kind of product is put on the field – this is for profitability for future sale;

2- The Braves strategy is to let the rest of the division come to their level by sitting back and allowing the opposition to make foolish free agent acquisitions, not by competing with the opposition for them (this strategy is not totally unreasonable for the long term, but for the short term, the Braves could get burned by this);

3- as more of a cost saving measure to ensure (1) above, go with products of our minor league system so as not to exceed payroll constraints (Pastornicky?) whether they are totally ready or not;

4- Based upon TV deals that are long term deals, there will be no heroic influx of cash that is going to ever elevate payroll to more competitive levels, so do not expect any spending sprees of any kind in any area of operations (which could further decline attendance);

To this observer, it paints a very negative portrait of being owned by a corporation with no ties to Atlanta and no connection with the Southeast area at all. This does not bode well for this franchise, and I will have to say that Mcguirk and Liberty have made the decision that they are choosing simple bottom-line profitability over any championship trophies.

I would have to say this is a most revealing article that I am glad I have had the opportunity to read – it has added perspective to what is occuring with the Braves franchise.

Beware!

Really?

January 26th, 2012
8:24 am

@Mitchell
Really? Uggla included in that list? Really? If it wasn’t for him in mid season we wouldn’t have even been in the race and, moreover, his defense was far far better than we had heard or expected.

Mako

January 26th, 2012
8:58 am

Hope the kid has a great season…..that said, I’d be happy just to see some of the expensive “talent” remember how to hit the ball and stay healthy for more than 1/2 a season…enough said!

BravesFanSince80's

January 26th, 2012
9:08 am

@really?, bet you’ll change your tune about Ugly Dan’s fielding after a season next to a rookie with average defensive skills. he sucks at defense. period.

Chris

January 26th, 2012
9:14 am

There is a reason for farm systems. Some people act as if there is only free agency and trades. Obviously, no one would possibly know the production of a rookie, but i think Pastornicky will be just fine.

You lie

January 26th, 2012
9:20 am

@Cecil you obviously are either lying or have just gravely mistaken. The article you claim from Braves
Front office discussing exact payroll and divulging other details that fans would consider valuable insight can not exist cause DOB said that the Braves don’t disclose such things. Liar. Anyway, what you guys think of that new Wallflowers video?

Braves With Many ? Marks

January 26th, 2012
9:43 am

Chipper Jones – How many games, how many injuries ?
Martin Prado – A .300 hitter or a .260 hitter (we know with no power either way).
Tyler Pastornicky – Rookie. Jack Wilson hitter or a Jimmy Rollins hitter ? We need Jimmy Rollins hitter.
Jason Heyward – The next Hank Aaaron or the next Michael Tucker. I say the latter. Prove me wrong Heyward !

DawgDad

January 26th, 2012
10:22 am

Pastornicky is an all-in draw on an inside straight, not the type of move playoff contenders make.
This is born out of GM mistakes – Chipper’s contract, Uggla’s contract, and especially Lowe’s contract.

I don’t have a problem with the team having a budget, at $94 million it seems quite reasonable. The issue at the moment is the team is caught between the old budget management and the new with those big contracts still hanging over them. You take half of Chipper’s salary plus the $10 million the Braves are paying Lowe to not be here and they have themselves a legitimate left fielder and veteran shortstop for Pastornicky to compete with. Wilson is a good glove man off the bench, but if he has to play every day it will be ugly. Whoever plays shortstop is going to have to play at a near-gold-glove level, like Gonzalez did, or the Braves infield will ruin some very good young pitching.

don

January 26th, 2012
10:33 am

Andrus is better. Oh, wait, the Braves gave the all-star shortstop to the AL champion Rangers. Simmons will never be an Andrus but he is better all around longterm than Pastornicky.

BravesfaninWis

January 26th, 2012
10:35 am

He better hope for his sake he is ready. I won’t hold my breath though. I hope he does well, but his defense leaves a lot to be desired. We shall see.

David O'Brien

January 26th, 2012
10:40 am

Front office discussing exact payroll and divulging other details that fans would consider valuable insight can not exist cause DOB said that the Braves don’t disclose such things. Liar. Anyway, what you guys think of that new Wallflowers video? — You Lie

From Tim’s excellent article: He said the Braves have “a little over $90 million right now” committed toward 2012 salaries and will reach the previously undisclosed $94 million budget, up slightly from last year, with acquisitions before or during the season.

You Lie, perhaps you should read more closely and watch fewer Wallflowers videos. (They’re rather mediocre anyway.)

Lemke's Knuckler

January 26th, 2012
10:42 am

Nice interview. He seems like he has a good head on his shoulders. And how about Jack Wilson. He sounds like a future coach in the making, already taking the initiative to helps the next generation of ballplayers in the twilight of his playing career. That takes a lot of class and I’m glad the Braves brought him back. And I think Jack Wilson is one of the best defensive shortstops of the past decade, not a bad guy to learn from at all.

Lemke's Knuckler

January 26th, 2012
10:43 am

Let’s just hope Pastornicky and Wilson don’t start talking hitting.

DawgDad

January 26th, 2012
10:44 am

I’ll add this: When the Braves signed Uggla they needed a right-handed power bat for the middle of the order. They knew Uggla’s defense is a liability, but overall tolerable IF he hits and IF he hits lefties. Available left fielders were either too expensive in salary or prospects. It’s apparent they decided it was less disruptive to have Chipper’s backup rotate in from the outfield vs. second base (Prado), and theoretically easier to find complementary pieces to play left when Prado is at third.

Problem is, they’ve whiffed on all counts up to this point. Uggla did not hit lefties, and wasn’t consistent enough to anchor the lineup. His defense was steady, but it steadily reminded everyone Prado was an all-star, and he’s a load on the payroll. Prado did not hit enough to warrant playing left field every day, and they never got acceptable production from the backfill players. Now they’ve got the added burdens of relying on a completely untested shortstop and overcoming the epic collapse. Ugggg-ly.

Braves With Many ? Marks

January 26th, 2012
11:08 am

Its sad to start a season with so many things that needs to fall into place to compete. We watch the Tigers sign Prince Fielder,the Marlins sign 3 stars,the Phillies sign a closer (their only previous weakness) while the Braves cut Lowe but pay most of his salary. Yeah, Braves fans really should be excited about 2012…Liberty Media, please sell the team to an owner willing to spend money on the team.

Braves With Many ? Marks

January 26th, 2012
11:10 am

Don’t worry, .247 career Greg Walker will be teaching Pastornicky hitting. Maybe Jack Wilson SHOULD be talkling hitting with him after all….

BravesFanSince80's

January 26th, 2012
11:37 am

Dawgdad, right on man…nobody should be complaining about the Prince of fatness signing, that will wash out as one of the dumbest contracts ever, Detroit will be regretting that move within three years let alone nine! flip-side is we should be happy he’s not a G-nat:) the rookie shortstop is at best an unknown quantitiy right now, but he can hit, he’s proven that thus far, seems adequate at SS for now, though his dad being a 3B doesn’t bode well for his staying there for any length of time (genetics?). Hopefully after the Dodgers get ironed out, some groups will come out of the woodworks making offers for our Braves. A competitive season (doubtful on the contending part, just too many ifs and buts) should help the speed of acquiring new owners. My biggest fear is that we see a pretty similar offensive year and that might scare away potential new owners thinking it will be too much of a house-clearing endevour once they take over…

Add your comment