Braves shortstop prospect Simmons is causing stir

JUPITER, Fla. – The idea seemed highly unlikely when spring training began. But with each terrific play he makes and every self-assured stride he takes, Braves shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons looks more like a major leaguer.

Simmons has opened a lot of eyes in camp with his superb defense and confidence. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

Simmons has opened a lot of eyes in camp with his superb defense and confidence. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

And shortstop Tyler Pastornicky, whom all signs pointed to as the rookie whose job it was to lose, has struggled enough early to raise some eyebrows and make folks wonder if he might indeed be capable of losing it – or, rather, if the defensive phenom from Curacao with the cannon arm and improving bat might win it.

It’s still way early and a few strong games by Pastornicky might slow the speculation, but for now, with the Braves losing nine of their first 10 Grapefruit League games and doing little to inspire confidence or create any buzz, the Simmons saga, as it were, has become an intriguing topic of conversation.

The notion that Simmons, at 22 and without any experience above the Class-A minor league level, could win a big-league job doesn’t sound as far-fetched as it did several weeks ago. Not to some of us who follow the team, nor to some closer to the situation.

Simmons was in the lineup Monday against the Cardinals, and Pastornicky is in it today against the  Marlins.

“He’s got it,” third baseman Chipper Jones said of Simmons, meaning he had “it” in a general sense.  “He’s major league-ready defensively, there’s no doubt about that. When everybody says that he’s major league-ready defensively, they’re saying it for a reason.”

Simmons hails from Curacao, home of Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens and former Atlanta center fielder Andruw Jones. Yes, the Jones who hit two homers in a World Series game at 19, finished fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting at 20, and had two Gold Gloves, 80 homers and 257 RBIs in 505 regular-season games before he turned 23.

As a kid in Curacao, Simmons was a great admirer of the center fielder, who won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves as a Brave.

“Growing up it was Andruw Jones, Chipper, Manny [Ramirez], [Derek] Jeter … I liked a lot of players,” Simmons said. “They all had something I liked.”

Among shortstops, he said, “I like Jeter, the way he plays. I like [Alex] Gonzalez, the way he handles the glove. I don’t compare myself to them, though. I admire how Jeter plays the game and behaves around baseball, how he carries himself.”

Simmons was a second-round draft pick in 2010 out of Western Oklahoma State Junior College, where he was a standout shortstop and part-time closer — with a fastball that was clocked at 98 mph.

Scouts rate his arm as plus-plus, which is as good as it gets. It’s an 80 on the 80-point scale, which is uncommonly good. Plenty of teams including the Braves were interested in drafting him as a pitcher, and some backed off when they learned he was intent on playing shortstop.

“They [Braves] wanted me as a pitcher,” Simmons said. “I told them give me a chance to prove that I can play shortstop. And it’s been going pretty good so far.”

In short-season rookie ball in 2010, Simmons hit decently at .276 with a .340 OBP, 14 extra-base hits (two homers) and a .356 slugging percentage in 62 games.

Last season at high-A Lynchburg he raised those numbers significantly, winning the Carolina League batting title with a .311 average while posting a .351 OBP and .408 slugging percentage with 42 extra-base hits (six triples, one homer) in 131 games and 570 plate appearances. He had 26 stolen bases and drove in 52 runs.

Chipper Jones (above) says of Simmons: "He's got it." (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

Chipper Jones (above) says of Simmons: "He's got it." (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

In Baseball America’s midseason survey of Carolina League managers, Simmons was voted the league’s best defensive shortstop, most exciting player and best infield arm. Those who had questioned whether he’d ever hit were no longer quite so vocal.

“I heard the positives and I definitely heard the negatives, the doubts,” Simmons said in September. “I always knew I was capable…. Just keep doing what I do. I make my adjustments and it worked out pretty good.”

He was 4-for-32 (.125) with two RBIs in his first eight games, then hit .326 with 157 hits and 50 RBIs in 122 games the rest of the season.

Simmons finished on a tear, batting .351 with a .397 OBP and .504 slugging percentage in 31 games during August and September, with 16 extra-base hits in 143 plate appearances.

“I’ve learned a lot, and now this year I’m learning even more,” he said. Then he smiled and said, “It’s going to be dangerous. It’s going to be a good year.”

Did we mention he’s got swagger? The kind that teammates like to see.

“He has no sense of self-entitlement, but he’s very confident,” Braves outfielder Matt Diaz said. “Just the way he carries himself. I asked him the other day, were you in big league camp last year? He said no, and I was [surprised].”

Simmons’ stock is soaring. A non-roster invitee to spring training, he’s gone 3-for-12 with an RBI triple, two walks and two strikeouts in six Grapefruit League games and has played a lot more in the past few days.

Pastornicky was the presumed Opening Day shortstop, but the rookie has struggled early in camp.

Pastornicky was the presumed Opening Day shortstop, but the rookie has struggled early in camp.

Pastornicky is 3-for-26 (.115) with one walk and three strikeouts, and has three errors.

Simmons was asked if he was pleased with how the spring has gone so far.

“Yeah I’m pleased, but still want more,” he said. “I want more results. I’ve felt like I’m really improving a lot, learning things from pretty much everybody.”

If he was to be nervous during spring training, common wisdom said it would be at the plate, not in the field where he’s a natural. But Simmons said otherwise.

“Actually on the field sometimes, like the first groundball – I’ve got to get through that first one and then I’ll be good,” he said. “I felt kind of awkward at first, but now I feel normal. I feel at home.”

Some who played with or saw former Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal in his prime say he had a comparable infield arm to Simmons. That’s saying plenty – Furcal’s arm was rated the best among major league infielders for about a decade.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez, a Braves third-base coach in Furcal’s last three seasons in Atlanta, said Simmons throws like Furcal but without having to load or wind up like the 5-foot-8 Furcal. Simmons is 6-2, long-limbed with fluid movement in everything he does.

Braves prospect Joe Terdoslavich, who played first base at Lynchburg, saw Furcal play on TV when Terdoslavich was a kid. He’s played in the same infield with Simmons for the past two seasons in the minors and the fall instructional league.

“He’s a freak — he makes the plays no one else makes,” said Terdoslavich, who’s expected to start out the 2012 season playing third base at Double-A Mississippi, next to Simmons unless Simmons is brought to the majors.

“I’m playing first base [last season] and the ball’s hit,” Terdoslavich said, describing a play last season. “I didn’t go to first base too hard and all of a sudden I turn around and the ball’s right here [holds hand in front of chest]. And I just laughed.

“He’s a very phenomenal athlete that can play that [shortstop] position better than I’ve ever seen anybody play it. I have a lot of buddies that are Braves fans and they say, ‘Can’t wait to see this kid.’ And I say, he’s a freak.”

Terdoslavich and outfielder Todd Cunningham, another Lynchburg teammate, enjoy describing some of the things Simmons did on a regular basis last season.

“That arm just allows him to make any play out there,” Terdoslavich said. “He can throw a ball from in the hole. He doesn’t have to jump to make [the throw across the infield with momentum carrying him the other way]. He’ll do it, but he can just stop and [flicks wrist] across the diamond and it’s, ‘We’ll see ya.’”

Cunningham said outfielders knew all they had to do was throw the ball close enough for Simmons to touch it, because he would haul it in and make a sizzling throw to the plate. Simmons gets a kick out of cutting down unsuspecting runners.

“Yeah, I try to make them run the basepaths with more caution,” he said.

When he praised Simmons, Chipper Jones wasn’t predicting or suggesting that Simmons get the job over Pastornicky, also 22 but with considerably more minor league experience including nearly two full seasons above Class A.

What Jones did say was that he could see the Braves going with either of them as the starter — and that either could handle the demands of the job.

“What you want out of a shortstop is defense up the middle,” Jones said. “That’s the most important thing. And anything we get out of the shortstop position offensively is a bonus. You want strong defense up the middle, and we’ve got two guys in camp that are capable of doing that.

“We’ve just got to…” he left the sentence unfinished.

“You know, I’m sure that Andrelton – I call him Andy — is going to push Tyler and Tyler’s going to push Andy,” Jones continued, “and it’s going to be tough decision to make. Maybe it’s already made. I don’t know.”

But maybe Simmons has changed some minds or at least made the decision more difficult?

“No doubt,” Jones replied.

Told that Furcal went straight from high-A to the majors without a stop in Double-A or Triple-A, Simmons was asked if he allowed himself to think about the possibility for himself.

“I used to, but now I just go with the flow, take it one day at a time,” he said “Just try to do what I can and let them make whatever decision is best for the team and me.”

After acknowledging he’s trying to make the shortstop decision more difficult for team officials, Simmons was asked when, in his mind, he thought he’d be ready for the majors.

“When, in my mind?” he said. “In my mind?

“Right now.”

Braves Tuesday lineup vs. Marlins

  1. Bourn CF
  2. Prado LF
  3. McCann C
  4. Uggla 2B
  5. Freeman 1B
  6. Diaz LF
  7. Heyward DH
  8. Pastornicky SS
  9. Constanza RF

Braves LH Mike Minor starts against Marlins RH Carlos Zambrano.

♣ Most of the team staying overnight to play both games here in Jupiter (the Cardinals and Marlins share the same complex here), but some – including Chipper, Eric Hinske, Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters – were scheduled to return to Orlando after Monday’s game and will work out back at camp Tuesday.

Let’s close with a great tune by a terrific band, The Felice Brothers. You can see and hear them do it live by clicking here.

felicebros

“COOPERSTOWN by The Felice Brothers

The water’s wide
It’s deep and wide
It’s down a long and windy road
And everyone knows that a boy can’t swim it

In Narrow’s Church
The white walled church
They’re singing that gospel song
“Bye and Bye, I will see my King”
The clouds will break
And the pews shake
And the choir softly cries
And it’s Georgia in the spring of 1905

Ty Cobb
You’re dead and gone
You had a game like a war machine
And through the great
Hall of Fame you wander
In Tigers Field
A girl in heels

She had a face like a magazine
And through the long metal stands she wandered

The ball soared
The crowd roared
The scoreboard sweetly hummed
And tomorrow you’ll surely know whose won

I’m on First
And you’re on Third
And all the wolves are all between
And everyone’s sure that the game is over

The catcher’s hard
He’s mean mean and hard
And he nips at the batter’s heels
And everyone’s sure that the game is over

The ball soars
And the crowd roars
And the scoreboard sweetly hums
And tomorrow you’ll surely know whose won

The water’s wide
It’s deep and wide
It’s a down a long and windy road
And everyone knows that a boy can’t swim it

The clouds break
And the pews shake
And the preacher’s feet do pound
As the rain beats the streets of Cooperstown

– by David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

1,406 comments Add your comment

JAFO

March 12th, 2012
1:24 pm

Fredi Will Screw It Up Somehow

March 12th, 2012
1:29 pm

You HAVE to put the elite defensive player between 40 year old Chipper and defensive liability Uggla.

Alas, my name is my name.

Lee in S GA

March 12th, 2012
1:31 pm

I’m pulling for Simmons to win the position.

TJ

March 12th, 2012
1:33 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Murph! Still one of my all time favorite Braves.

hammerinhomer

March 12th, 2012
1:34 pm

Shelbyflash

March 12th, 2012
1:36 pm

Somebody sign that boy up!

Ijiwaru Sensei

March 12th, 2012
1:36 pm

It’s good to have options.

Mister Frisky

March 12th, 2012
1:36 pm

Nice belly Chipper welcome to 40.

George

March 12th, 2012
1:37 pm

Could starting SS be SIMMONS instead of PASTORNICKY?

Jack Wilson

March 12th, 2012
1:37 pm

Hey Guys! What about me?

I spent all winter ruining Pastornicky so I could get the job. Not sure I have enough time to do it with Andy.

Fols

March 12th, 2012
1:37 pm

It’s innings like that 2nd that just make you shake your head…hit, 2 walks…no runs. Two base running outs and Ross doesn’t make contact with runners on base.

noleee

March 12th, 2012
1:38 pm

so IF Simmons does win it does Tyler have a shot as backup IFer?

bravesgrl4life

March 12th, 2012
1:39 pm

Uh-oh. Come on Beach.

David O'Brien

March 12th, 2012
1:40 pm

This is split-squad game for #Cardinals (not for Braves). Freese just hit 3-run HR for Cards team that’s facing Nationals in Viera.

David O'Brien

March 12th, 2012
1:41 pm

Braves shot self in foot that last inning, with Freeman getting picked off 2nd and Hinske thrown out at 3rd on strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out DP to end it

[...] Andrelton Simmons to break camp with team…. Not likely, but is drawing rave reviews while Pastornicky is struggling…. Braves shortstop prospect Simmons is causing stir | Atlanta Braves [...]

Misspelled Tea-Bag Signs

March 12th, 2012
1:42 pm

How are we scouting offensive players? We continue to fail miserably at souting hitters… more recently evidenced by Schaffer, Heyward, etc.

Virginia Brave

March 12th, 2012
1:42 pm

Not that any of you care, but count me in the Simmons’ camp.

Also, thanks as always, DOB. You do a great job allowing this VA desk jockey to feel like he’s at spring training. Much appreciated.

ChattTownBrian (CTB)

March 12th, 2012
1:43 pm

“Braves shot self in foot”

Hey, we’re in mid-season form already!

beekay

March 12th, 2012
1:44 pm

Chipper does look heavy in that photo

David O'Brien

March 12th, 2012
1:44 pm

Beachy’s command has left the park — he just walked Komatsu to bring in a run, third walk of inning.

gordonguy1969

March 12th, 2012
1:45 pm

Waiting for the naysayers to show up. I’m excited about either of these guys. It’s so amazing to think that the folks who are going to blast Gonzalez or either of these shortstops, or Wren, so easily forget that everyone on the team was, at one time, a rookie.

Mark (another one)

March 12th, 2012
1:48 pm

I would bet that if Simmons wins the position, Tyler will be playing every day in the minors. No matter what the Braves want both of these guys to play somewhere and keep improving. Jack Wilson will most likely be the major league backup SS.

Misspelled Tea-Bag Signs

March 12th, 2012
1:49 pm

Defensively we’re fine. I also think we’ll be fine from a pitching standpoint. That said, I think we’ll see yet again that we can’t our way out of a paper bag and yet we’ll stand firm with the hitters we have because of our payroll ceiling. So frustrating…

ChattTownBrian (CTB)

March 12th, 2012
1:49 pm

What in the world is wrong with these guys? Nobody seems to be doing anything right.

Murph

March 12th, 2012
1:50 pm

Just like with the rotation, it’s always good to have a plan B. I’m starting to hope that Simmons works his way up to being the starter out of ST, but if not, at least he’s there in case The Rev struggles mightily out of the gate.

How long would they give Pastornicky before making the change, though? June? July?

David O'Brien

March 12th, 2012
1:51 pm

Simmons leads off 3rd with walk, then steals 2nd – first SB of spring for Braves.

(Make that second steal of spring — Pastornicky got the first one Sunday in the split-squad game over at Dunedin)

BravePack

March 12th, 2012
1:52 pm

Does anyone else think Fredi might be too easy on these guys and too laid back? Just a thought.

steve brown

March 12th, 2012
1:53 pm

Both young SS’s are facing the same pressure (due to the lack of funds available to sign an experienced SS due to the wasted money in Chipper’s pocket)-pick the one that performs best under this pressure-it sure won’t get easier in a pennant race.

SeATLite

March 12th, 2012
1:53 pm

David, yesterday Buster Olney posted a vague but ominous comment about “scouts raising early red flags about what they’re seeing from the Braves.” I know you’ve made reference to the fact that the Braves aren’t playing well or scoring — anyone can see that, obviously — but are you aware of any whispers of the sort Buster referred to? Can you possibly shed any light on what he meant? (I’d ask him, but unfortunately he’s a good deal less accessible than you are.)

Thanks!

Hunter

March 12th, 2012
1:53 pm

Oh God….

I just had a flashback to Chris Pittaro. The second coming of Shortstops as Deemed by Sparky Anderson!!!!

Don’t rush the kid!!!

Disgusted

March 12th, 2012
1:53 pm

The Braves might be better off with a healthy Jack Wilson for a while.

Simmons has done better than expected, if he is better, he deserves to play. But, you do not want to rush him too fast.

The hole at SS is on ownership, plain and simple.

ChattTownBrian (CTB)

March 12th, 2012
1:55 pm

BravePack, nobody outside the players and Braves people know if Fredi is too easy or whatever on these players. In my far out opinion I don’t think there’s a huge respect for him there. Most is because the man he replaced was as respected a manager you’ll ever find.

Murph

March 12th, 2012
1:55 pm

Prado’s looking really good this spring… pretty much the only bright spot so far.

Kentavo

March 12th, 2012
1:55 pm

I would much prefer a defensive dazzler at SS than a defensive question mark – say yes to the new Curacao Kid!

David O'Brien

March 12th, 2012
1:55 pm

Prado single drove in Simmons from 3rd to put Braves up 2-1

Jeff R

March 12th, 2012
1:56 pm

Surprising development if Simmons out plays Pastornicky for the shortstop job. But it’s still early. We’ll see.

Murph

March 12th, 2012
1:58 pm

Freeman with an RBI single… Braves up 3-1.

David O'Brien

March 12th, 2012
1:59 pm

Freeman RBI single put Braves up 2-1, still have 2 on with 2 out and Hinske up…. Hinske 3-1 groundout ends it

BravePack

March 12th, 2012
1:59 pm

No I like Fredi so I don’t want it to seem like I don’t and you are right who knows what goes on behind the scenes but it seems like the team is making a lot of mental mistakes and whatever can go wrong is going wrong. All I’m basing my opinion is what I see from interviews and dugout demeanor.

noleee

March 12th, 2012
2:00 pm

no we caint win, that isn’t allowed

abeeewright

March 12th, 2012
2:01 pm

“I used to, but now I just go with the flow, take it one day at a time,” he said “Just try to do what I can and let them make whatever decision is best for the team and me.” – A. Simmons

Dude must have watched Bull Durham. That’s every banal quote combined into one.

Felix Millan

March 12th, 2012
2:02 pm

I’m amused that Hinske was thrown out attempting to steal —-THIRD!!!

bravesgrl4life

March 12th, 2012
2:06 pm

Beachy not doing so well right now. :(

wrestler

March 12th, 2012
2:07 pm

Gooo God, I hope that the Braves get there act together before the season start. Right now, they are getting smoked in spring training.

beekay

March 12th, 2012
2:07 pm

i predicted 10 runs for Bravos today…this will be the beginning of an offensive rally from now till end of spring

phil

March 12th, 2012
2:07 pm

LOL at yet another picture of a fat Chipper! I love the guy like few others, but come on. He’s huge!

We’ve scored three times today.

When’s the parade?

phil

March 12th, 2012
2:08 pm

Make that 2 times…still parade-worthy.

phil

March 12th, 2012
2:09 pm

FG is in so far over his head that light from above can’t be seen through the water…

That said, we’re stuck with him for now apparently.

jeffrey d

March 12th, 2012
2:09 pm

Alas, my name is my name.

Deep. Also, a donut is a donut

Billy

March 12th, 2012
2:10 pm

Excellent info on Simmons. Nice to have so much talent at SS. With all the young pitching and the addition of Heyward, then Freeman, and now one or both of those SS being added to the team is testament to Wren re-stocking team with youth.

I like how the team is adding a rookie each of the last 3 seasons, be it Pastor or Simmons. For those not familiar with the Furcal story he made the roster as a backup SS to Walt Weiss, so anything is possible. Furcal skipped AA and AAA to earn a bench spot as a rookie. Tough decisions for Braves if Simmons is as good defensively or better than Jack Wilson.

DAP

March 12th, 2012
2:10 pm

disgusted The Braves might be better off with a healthy Jack Wilson for a while.

welp, we know thats not a possibility, so what else you got?

bravesgrl4life

March 12th, 2012
2:10 pm

Too many walks. TOO MANY WALKS.

ChattTownBrian (CTB)

March 12th, 2012
2:11 pm

Yeah if we win what the the hell will a lot of these people have to talk about, nolie? It’s almost as if it ruins their days. :roll:

kenhotlanta

March 12th, 2012
2:12 pm

The broadcast crew (or the radio station) needs Spring Training, too. The game keeps going off the air for minutes at a time and coming back for just a minute, then off again. Very irritating.
Happy Birthday to the great player and even better person, Dale Murphy. He’s the definition of the word Hero.

abeeewright

March 12th, 2012
2:12 pm

Seems like the Braves are doing to the Cardinals what everyone has been doing to the Braves. Lots of Cardinals out on the base paths, not so many scoring.

bravesgrl4life

March 12th, 2012
2:12 pm

Damage control, thank heavens.

abeeewright

March 12th, 2012
2:14 pm

It would be an interesting footnote to this blog to actually get an injury update on Jack Wilson. Is he in Orlando at all or still back in California rehabbing in his back yard? The injury didn’t seem to be so bad that it should keep him out for this long.

Rick

March 12th, 2012
2:14 pm

kenhotlanta,

Are you talking about on 1230am? Guess I’m not the only one having that problem, I assumed it was something with my radio. I turned it off because I got tired of it.

phil

March 12th, 2012
2:14 pm

Winning ruins my days. I for sure hope we lose…

ChattTownBrian (CTB)

March 12th, 2012
2:15 pm

I like Beachy, but I feel some of his success came from his deception. MLB hitters can and will make adjustments and his pitches outside that great fastaball, aren’t that good. Kind of wild with the curve and changeup. Flat slider as well from my memory. All I’m saying is he needs to fine tune his secondary pitches or he’ll get smacked around.

phil

March 12th, 2012
2:16 pm

The problems with the broadcast are not at all unlike what must happen inside Chip Caray’s head….

Ease

March 12th, 2012
2:17 pm

Ask and so you shall receive…

David O’Brien ‏
No, not supposed to play till last week or so. (Calf strain) RT @TuxOnMadisonAve: Dave, has Jack Wilson had any AB yet in ST? @ajcbraves

Billy

March 12th, 2012
2:17 pm

Jack Wilson is here, at Lake Buena Vista, and hopes to play the last week of ST

Bruce Benedict

March 12th, 2012
2:18 pm

1-9 huh? Boy these guys sure have shown up in 2012 angry and with sometime to prove after their historic collapse last year haven’t they? Worst spring training record in the league! This should inspire the fans to sellout opening day.

Stanley

March 12th, 2012
2:18 pm

Is this the main blog for the tweaters? I hope the Braves start playing better before the games start counting for real. If not, I might start cring.

phil

March 12th, 2012
2:19 pm

I am asking for Wayward to someday start playing like the hall of famer we were all essentially told he would be….mostly by bloggers, admittedly, but still….

Still waiting to receive.

Rick

March 12th, 2012
2:19 pm

CTB,

It seems today his issue was location, not getting smacked around. Last season he had trouble staying in games late because his pitch count would go up fast. Despite his success and great SO rate, it took him a lot of pitches to put guys away.

JAFO

March 12th, 2012
2:20 pm

Jason K eyward?

phil

March 12th, 2012
2:20 pm

Yes, Bruce, they’ll be there in droves…

Sadly, they WILL be.

Until FG is canned, not me. Looking forward to saving the money this season.

David O'Brien

March 12th, 2012
2:22 pm

Beachy: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 3 K. Braves up 3-1 headed to bottom of 4th, Cristhian Martinez to pitch

phil

March 12th, 2012
2:22 pm

And glad to hear that Hack Wilson is on the rebound from his sore pinkie toe suffered a month ago….

These guys are more fragile than the finest china at the Biltmore House.

Mississippi McCann Fan

March 12th, 2012
2:22 pm

It would be an interesting footnote to this blog to actually get an injury update on Jack Wilson. Is he in Orlando at all or still back in California rehabbing in his back yard? The injury didn’t seem to be so bad that it should keep him out for this long .@abeeewright

If I remember correctly, he’s supposed to begin the season on the DL. Not sure about the details of the injury.

Billy

March 12th, 2012
2:23 pm

Bottom of 4th Braves leading 3-1

jeffrey d

March 12th, 2012
2:23 pm

Too many walks. TOO MANY WALKS.

You’ll never hear that from a dog

phil

March 12th, 2012
2:23 pm

Nice to have a rare lead.

5 walks for Beachy? We seem alarmingly able to walk a few this spring.

Felix

March 12th, 2012
2:24 pm

It has been crying time since the end of August 2011.

kenhotlanta

March 12th, 2012
2:26 pm

Rick: yes I am trying to listen to the game on 1230AM, but not having much luck. They could not broadcast any of the game on Friday (I think) and I called the station and was told they were having “technical difficulties”. Maybe it’s those solar flares from the Sun. :)

phil don't Jack

March 12th, 2012
2:28 pm

Jack strained a calf muscle, days before heading to Spring Training, while working out with Tyler Pastornicky

bravesgrl4life

March 12th, 2012
2:30 pm

jeffrey d, you are right about that. Dogs can go on unlimited walks. I am sure cabravesfan and her pup would agree :) Walks not bad for dogs, bad for Braves pitchers.

Billy

March 12th, 2012
2:32 pm

Prado and Uggla have both looked good early on

David O'Brien

March 12th, 2012
2:32 pm

Prado singles up the middle to lead off the fifth, his third hit in three at-bats today

bravesgrl4life

March 12th, 2012
2:32 pm

Just lost the freakin audio for mlb on my iphone. What the heck???

phil

March 12th, 2012
2:33 pm

Apparently those workouts with Pastor Icky did little to help him…

Does Heyward have a hit today? A measley bouncer anywhere? Something that could be interpreted as a good sign?

I think those solar flares are what’s been wrong with us offensively and help explain the wildness of the starters…we’ll be fine soon.

David O'Brien

March 12th, 2012
2:33 pm

Prado is 7-for-9 with 2 doubles and 3 walks in his past 3 games after that leadoff single

phil

March 12th, 2012
2:34 pm

Good to see Prado hitting like this.

Of course, it’s just as meaningless as the 1-9 record.

abeeewright

March 12th, 2012
2:36 pm

For those wondering, Braves are actually leading this game against the World Champion Cardinals (split-squad) in the top of the fifth. Prado is at third (after a wild pitch) with one out and Uggla at the plate.

jeffrey d

March 12th, 2012
2:36 pm

That’s the spirit, phil

abeeewright

March 12th, 2012
2:37 pm

Uggla doesn’t get-r-done with a hard hit ground ball.

Freeman to the dish.

DAP

March 12th, 2012
2:37 pm

abeeewright The injury didn’t seem to be so bad that it should keep him out for this long.

didnt they say 4-6 weeks from the start? that was at the very beginning of spring training, which menat at best we were looking at no jack wilson for the first 2 weeks of the regular season.

phil

March 12th, 2012
2:37 pm

Means nothing though, abeeewright….

I wish it did…thanks for the word, though – seriously.

jeffrey d

March 12th, 2012
2:38 pm

It’s such a beautiful day today.

Of course we’re all going to die eventually, though

David O'Brien

March 12th, 2012
2:38 pm

Venters to pitch 5th for Bravos

abeeewright

March 12th, 2012
2:38 pm

Freeman flies out to end the top of the fifth, Braves lead 3-1.

brian

March 12th, 2012
2:39 pm

DOB – thanks for yet another great blog and especially for the updates. I am sneaking peeks at work and want to make sure I read it right. We manufactored a run??? Walk, SB, advance the runner to 3rd, single???

I like the way this new week is starting for the Bravos

David O'Brien

March 12th, 2012
2:40 pm

Vizcaino (inflamed elbow ligament) still being evaluated. More will be known in couple of days, Frank Wren said.

abeeewright

March 12th, 2012
2:40 pm

“didnt they say 4-6 weeks from the start?”

I missed that. I thought it was a minor strain. Losing your back-up SS with an unproven rookie starter seems to be big news.

jeffrey d

March 12th, 2012
2:41 pm

We manufactored a run??? Walk, SB, advance the runner to 3rd, single???

That’s somewhat true. All of that happened, but it was when defense stopped to take a juice break

TJ Lambert

March 12th, 2012
2:41 pm

I would rather them not hit in ST and find it in the regular season. This team will do better than last years.

GAtor

March 12th, 2012
2:41 pm

Being from Curacao he’s probably around 25 instead of 22, so he’s ready. :)

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