If looking for versatile fill-in, Sutton could fit bill


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – If the Braves need Drew Sutton to play some first base in place of injured Freddie Freeman or some shortstop in place of injured backup Jack Wilson this spring, it won’t be a problem.

That’s what he does.

Drew Sutton is a solid defender at several positions, which could come in handy given recent Braves injuries. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

Drew Sutton is a solid defender at several positions, which could come in handy given recent Braves injuries. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

And if third baseman Chipper Jones is a late scratch from any games and Sutton is around, he has experience in the last-minute fill-in thing at that position, having gone through it last season with the Boston Red Sox.

“Last year I played five positions, and it was kind of the same situation because [third baseman Kevin] Youkilis was banged up,” said Sutton, who hit .315 with a .362 on-base percentage and seven doubles in 60 plate appearances for the Red Sox.

He played in 31 games and made four starts at third base before breaking a finger in August.

“I’d show up some days on day games and he’d be in the lineup, then an hour into [pregame] they’d be like, ‘Hey, he can’t go today.’ So I think it’s beneficial that I’ve been in that spot before and I’ve played well doing it.

“I’ve started games at short, I’ve started games at second, I’ve played games at first, I’ve started games in left … I can move around.”

Sutton, 28, played at least five games at five different positions during the past three seasons with Cleveland, Cincinnati and Boston, including 20 games at second base and 19 games (13 starts) at shortstop.

He has a .258 average and .322 OBP in 178 career plate appearances, with 16 extra-base hits (three homers) and 24 RBIs.

Signed to a minor-league contract that included a non-roster invitation to spring training, Sutton and the well-traveled Josh Wilson could get more playing time at shortstop this spring with Jack Wilson nursing a strained calf.

“ I’ll probably spend a little more time at short, probably not so much for the season as for spring training,” Sutton said. “Because I think once [Jack Wilson] gets back, he’s going to be the guy to play short when [rookie starter Tyler] Pastornicky doesn’t.

“Then you’ve got [second baseman Dan] Uggla that plays 150-something games, and you’ve got Freddie [Freeman] that plays 150-something games.”

Josh Wilson, 30, has played primarily shortstop during his five-year major league career, but also has plenty of experience at second base and third base. He has just a  .227 average  and .279 OBP in just over 1,000 career plate appearances.

34 comments Add your comment

Vinny

February 28th, 2012
4:59 pm

jzdc

February 28th, 2012
5:38 pm

Vinny, your mom must be tremendously proud.

bruce

February 28th, 2012
5:51 pm

Drew Sutton = Omar on defense?

yogi

February 28th, 2012
5:51 pm

Im sure glad Brooks Conrad signed with someone else

Bill

February 28th, 2012
6:05 pm

Sutton sound like just what the Brvaes need.

Old Timer

February 28th, 2012
6:19 pm

BTW – where is Brooks Conrad this Spring??

Braves Oldie

February 28th, 2012
6:25 pm

Glad to hear Sutton has a big bat to make up for the injury to Freddie and make up for no pop in LF. LOL

Chipper did it

February 28th, 2012
6:32 pm

First day of practice and the $14 million dollar man puts out the 1st baseman.

Also I just added the Collusion add on for Mozilla. It seems AJC has 4 sites tracking me the second I came to these webpage.

Delbert D.

February 28th, 2012
6:35 pm

I think the Braves need Sutton. Third, shortstop and second is good enough for me.

tvsportscaster

February 28th, 2012
7:05 pm

Old timer, Brooks Conrad is now with the Brewers, the Braves non-tendered him

eskippy

February 28th, 2012
7:22 pm

Prado can play first.

Greg

February 28th, 2012
7:24 pm

Sutton sounds like a great asset. The best he could get was the minor league contract with the Braves? There must be a downside that we’re not hearing about here.

johnson bratsworth

February 28th, 2012
8:33 pm

Larry

February 28th, 2012
8:46 pm

All esle aside, the single most important question lingers on…how can the Braves’ players overcome the certain buffoonary of their manager during the upcoming season that, just like last season, will cost them 9 or 10 wins?

One ray of hope is he can’t use Alex Gonzalez as a lead-off hitter (but he still has his other two free swinging gues hitters, Uggla and Heyward).

Will he pitch Venters again after three consecutive outings in the 9th inning with a 6 run lead?

Will he call a suicide squeeze with Hanson after two strikes, in the 2nd inning against the dangerous Mets, with the fleet footed Hinske on third?

Will he ask DOB questions about the stats of the game HE just managed?

Well, one good thing…he won’t be able to start Lowe in the opener or a must win game at the end of September to keep Lowe from finishing 0-5 in September again.

Gonna be a long summer, boys.

DetroitBraves

February 28th, 2012
9:05 pm

DOB, nice article. Don’t know much about Sutton so I looked him up. He didn’t play second well at all but held up ok at first, third, and short. Small sample sizes. He also has a background of not being terrible at the plate. Got on base at a decent clip in the minors. To be honest, Wilson’s lost a step at short the last couple of seasons. Not sure Sutton isn’t just a better player to begin with.

GOP Cannon

February 28th, 2012
9:20 pm

Sutton sounds like a good fit for us as a utility player. I am looking forward to see how he does in Spring Training.

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

February 28th, 2012
9:46 pm

maybe he can vote for 3 or 4 presidential candidates too

Lobosolo

February 28th, 2012
9:46 pm

Larry’s lip is in mid-season form… well-oiled, crying machine…

The Bravenator

February 28th, 2012
10:36 pm

Come on guys, get serious. Sutton is a camp body signed primarily to make Spring road trips to split squad games and fill a roster spot somewhere in the minors. At best, he plays decently until September 1 and maybe gets a call-up as a reward if Liberty Media allows enough budget to pay him the major league minimum for a few weeks. Don’t get too excited.

CajunStorm

February 28th, 2012
11:01 pm

Yaaaawwwnnn, Have we traded Prado and Mike Minor for Adam Jones yet?

Under team control until 2013, is a CF that can play left, hits .280 w/ 25hr’s, 80+ rbi….what’s the hold up?

Larry

February 28th, 2012
11:18 pm

Amazing…out of a million sperm cells Lobosolo was the fastest to the egg!

So, you see, for all of others of his ilk whom have grown accustomed to always getting passed over by the girls and last picked by the team captains, there was at least the one miracle moment to savor in your lives that you didn’t finish last.

Chuck

February 29th, 2012
12:30 am

Games start Saturday? I know they mean nothing, but it sure will be nice to get it going again. ESPN said that Freeman’s knee popped out of joint, and that it had happened a few years back and it took two weeks then. Hate to hear it!

reckingball

February 29th, 2012
2:31 am

It isn’t the fastest sperm cell that wins the race, it is the sperm cell that penetrates the egg.

Bobbybrave

February 29th, 2012
4:39 am

put chipper at 1st…soft hands and 6-4…

GoBraves!

February 29th, 2012
8:49 am

CajunStorm,

Yes, Adam Jones has great potential, but why trade prado, when we will need him once Chipper gets injured this season? (Not to mention, we will need him for upcoming years at 3B) Where are we going to play Adam, LF? Bad move.

Love dem Braves

February 29th, 2012
8:50 am

Larry, you have been non-tendered. Go away.

Vinny

February 29th, 2012
8:53 am

@jzdc

U mad, bro?

Rusty

February 29th, 2012
9:52 am

Bobbybrave-What do you do w/ Freeman if you put Chipper at first?

Sutton looks like a player, maybe he can be the new Brooks Conrad.

Sutton?

February 29th, 2012
10:54 am

The only Sutton the Brave’s should keep around is Don!He might not be able to play anymore but he can still be a half way decent announcer and Radio Broadcaster!

PMC

February 29th, 2012
11:03 am

In a way, McCann’s slump last year is going to make him a very rich man (and perhaps former Brave given our spending habits lately)

Y Molina gets 15 million per and Mac is a loads better hitter, not quite as adept with his defense, but Molinia essentially is getting paid only for his defense.

Mac has to get more that Molina one would think.

Dave P

February 29th, 2012
11:10 am

I can’t wait to hear Don again!! Especially on nights when he’s been hitting the vino hard in the broadcast booth. Go Brave!!

reckingball

February 29th, 2012
1:14 pm

It is good that some people like Don Sutton.

Bat Masterson

February 29th, 2012
7:51 pm

hitter (but he still has his other two free swinging gues hitters, Uggla and Heyward _ Larry

Yeah Larry, because nothing says free swinging guess hitter like a .390+ OBP

Dwayne

March 1st, 2012
11:39 am

Don Sutton sucks!!! Worst ever…I mean EVER!!!
And everything Larry said was spot on. Fredi is a goof of a manager.

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