Simmons shines in front of TV audience

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — On Wednesday night, a national TV audience  got to see some of what the fuss is over Braves shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons.

The slick-fielding 22-year-old from Curacao turned a couple off nifty plays and had two hits in the Braves’ 6-5 win against Washington, including a single off Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg.

The game was carried on the MLB Network and Fox Sports South.

Simmons is 5-for-17 (.294) with two walks and three strikeouts, and has wowed teammates with his strong arm and slick fielding since the start of spring training.

“He’s got some range out there,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

There is growing speculation around camp that Simmons will get serious consideration for the shortstop job over fellow 22-year-old Tyler Pastornicky, the rookie thought to have the job entering camp.

Murph’s kid proposes

After Dale Murphy caught the ceremonial first pitch from son Jake before the game, Jake surprised his camera-wielding girlfriend, Arianne Ingersoll, by going to one knee near  home plate and asking her to marry him.

She said yes.

The plan was the idea of Braves president John Schuerholz, after he’d heard Jake was coming to spring training and wanted to propose during the trip.

Jake Murphy, 22, is a tight end on the University of Utah football team.

Roster cuts

The Braves cut five from the camp roster, optioning righty Erik Cordier to Triple-A Gwinnett and reassigning righty Jason Rice, catcher Matt Kennelly, and outfielders Todd Cunningham and Stefan Gartrell to minor league camp.

Right-hander Zeke Spruill was previously reassigned to minor league camp, leaving the Braves with 50 on their spring-training roster.

86 comments Add your comment

Bill

March 14th, 2012
10:06 pm

yea they are on their way to a W.S. after the 1st win of a spring training game

Bill

March 14th, 2012
10:07 pm

correction 2nd win

Chuck

March 14th, 2012
10:08 pm

What’s the story on Erik Cordier? I can’t remember where he came from, but seems like I’ve heard his name before. I’m not really up to speed on the ST shuffles that go on and what they mean. Thanks in advance!

Chuck

March 14th, 2012
10:20 pm

Ok, he was traded to Atlanta from Kansas City for infielder Tony Pena, Jr., on 3/23/2007 (end of spring training) and has been in AA or AAA. No story. RH Pitcher. Still not sure what it means that he was optioned to AAA instead of something like what the other guys got, but that’s a start…

BRAVESFAN

March 14th, 2012
10:20 pm

Now that was some good baseball. May the best SS win the job!

GP

March 14th, 2012
10:21 pm

Why not give Simmons a shot? It’s not like Pastornicky is a sure thing. C’mon Frank, live a little!

Tampa Gator

March 14th, 2012
10:33 pm

I watched Pastornicky in person the other day in Dunedin. I watched this kid tonight on TV. There is big difference between the two places……and the best shortstop’s last name does not start with a P. Simmons should be in Atlanta from day one….and Pastornicky in Mississippi. Simmons is by far the better player…RIGHT NOW. Period. Also, his range has to help with Jones playing 3B in between multiple injuries.

Tampa Gator

March 14th, 2012
10:33 pm

not “places”…….but “players.” It is late.

iTiSi

March 14th, 2012
10:41 pm

I like Simmons best after seeing him for the first time also, but just wondering why there was no mention of his boot of the first ball hit to him today? That’s a play 90% of the ML shortstops have to make. One behind the bag at second. I noticed him twice today once on a ground ball and once after running to first stumbling over his own feet. Hope this doesn’t become a big problem for him. As of right now though with his hitting and fielding he does look better at SS than Pastornicky.

Dang

March 14th, 2012
11:15 pm

Simmons looked hella good tonight, making plays Pastornicky can only dream about. If he keeps playing like he has it would be stupid not to name him the starting SS.

Jack

March 14th, 2012
11:26 pm

It looks like the Braves infield is set. This is weird to write but the weakest
spot will probably be Chipper at third, but I don’t think he will be there a lot.

ChopChamps95

March 14th, 2012
11:28 pm

Yeah Simmons has looked good so far but if he makes the 25 man roster I’ll reserve my judgement for the first few months. The Braves organization has seen first hand what can happen when you rush a young kid to the majors after a good showing in Spring Training (ala Jordan Schafer).

fobic

March 14th, 2012
11:30 pm

Simmons was good, Chipper’s interview was better.

Bill2

March 14th, 2012
11:32 pm

iTiSi~~there was no mention of his boot because we knew you would bring it up. There’s always someone who has to talk about the bad side of a player.

Bill2

March 14th, 2012
11:33 pm

Ole Chip did talk about DOB…

Jeff

March 15th, 2012
12:51 am

Simmons didn’t boot that ball that he ranged well past second base to get in the first. What happened was he lost the ball exchanging it from his glove to his hand. Pastornicky, among other shortstops, wouldn’t even of had a chance to make that play.

P. Bull Terrier

March 15th, 2012
1:14 am

Enter your comments here

P. Bull Terrier

March 15th, 2012
1:21 am

Braves fans are something else. The new rookie shortstop (Pastornicky) hasn’t even played his first real game of the season and already half of the fans are ready to run him out of town and replace him with a newer rookie.

At this rate, some fans will be demanding that the Braves sign some kid from the nearest high school by the time we get to the All-Star break.

buster brave

March 15th, 2012
1:41 am

seems like a lot of “fans” have forgot that Rafael Furcal started at SS even though he hadn’t played any higher than A ball. Simmons is better than Furcal at this stage,and did play college ball,so he is not too young at 23 yrs. old. Braves fans meet your opening day starter at SS !!!!!

Tim

March 15th, 2012
1:54 am

Buster Brave

You beat me to it in reference to Rafael Furcal. I remember spring training of 2000. Before it started everyone said there was no way Furcal would make the team for Opening Day. Come Opening Day Furcal was in the starting lineup. I believe Simmons can do the same thing. I was impressed by his defense.

iTiSi

It looked like that ball also tipped off of Teheran’s glove. But really? You are going to point out that place. He was on the other side of the 2nd base bag and almost the spot where the 2nd baseman plays in a normal defensive setup. The fact that he had a chance to make the play was awesome.

I’ll be really disappointed if Simmons, Sutton and Parraz aren’t on the team come Opening Day. I see no reason those 3 shouldn’t be locks.

RomansVIII28

March 15th, 2012
1:57 am

P. Bull: I’m very high on both Simmons and Pastornicky. I just see the latter more of a second baseman long term (though one that can play a bit of shortstop). Obviously, as long as Uggla is here there’s no room for Pastornicky at second. So for him the best he can hope for is to keep shortstop warm till Simmons takes the job.

Simmons is a special talent defensively, what he can do defensively at short is pretty much a league above what Pastornicky can do. However, Pastornicky could prove the better player offensively long term, but he’s not showing it thus far in Spring Training.

RomansVIII28

March 15th, 2012
2:00 am

Tim: I must agree at this point regarding Simmons, Sutton and Parraz. I’d also choose Durango over Constanza at this point (if back-up CF comes between those two).

Acworth Don

March 15th, 2012
6:14 am

Hang on Fans! Well, things are looking up finally with a win on national TV no less. My trip to ST will come next week so I’ll reserve further comment but it was nice to see Dan and Heyward going yard and yes, perhaps we start putting the season together now. Chipper looks like he’s easing out???

MikeY

March 15th, 2012
6:38 am

I agreee w/ Tim and Romans, if our 5 bench players were selected today, I would take Ross, Hinske, Parraz, Sutton, and Durango. And Simmons over Pastornicky for SS.

Can Diaz be sent to AAA or would we have to relase him if he fails to make the team?

Dang

March 15th, 2012
7:22 am

I know Parraz has looked pretty dang good so far, but Diaz almost seems like a lock. As of the other three guys fighting for a spot in the outfield, It seems like Constanza would have the inside shot because of the way he played last year. But Durango and Parraz are pushing for that spot and the numbers are there for both. I’d say who ever has the best spring wins the job. As for Pastornicky he needs to step his game up, because right now Simmons is leaving him in the dust. I’ll take great defense at short over offense. You need to be strong up the middle. We saw that last year with Agon and Bourn. Helps alot more than people think.

rshires

March 15th, 2012
7:43 am

i think you have to put in who ever has a better spring training at shortstop regardless of minor league experience some kids just have it.

Jack

March 15th, 2012
7:55 am

Imagine the shock to a young players system. To come to spring training being so highly touted as the teams new shortstop and finding that another young player, with less experience, just might take the job from you. That is a real ego buster.

chipfrumatl

March 15th, 2012
7:57 am

It almost appears like the Braves are using these two guys in a dog and pony show as trade bait…

Braver

March 15th, 2012
8:01 am

The Braves seem to have such a strong group of young players that keeping some of the older ones on the roster is less important than they think.

Guest

March 15th, 2012
8:05 am

I see some strong trade possibilities being formulated by Mr. Wren.

Brownie

March 15th, 2012
8:18 am

I believe the Braves have felt all along that Pasternicky would at best be holding down the fort until Simmons was ready which now appears imminent. IF Tyler showed well, he might win the backup 3B job – but don’t be surprised to see Joey T there soon.

For all of you fans complaining that Wren didn’t make a big trade over the winter, you’re now seeing why. This team is still in transition, and one big name wouldn’t make the difference anyway, so why make a trade just for the sake of making a trade? Think about Texeira…he played great, but couldn’t make the difference. And we literally built the Texas Rangers in return – 2 straight WS appearances.

This will be Chipper’s last year, if he even makes it to the end. JJ will be traded, maybe even Hanson. Between those guys trade value and Chipper’s money opening up, the Braves will finally go out and get their big OF bat.

Oh, and finally…..got to keep Bourn. That’s where Chipper’s money should go.

Richard

March 15th, 2012
8:53 am

I’m hearing a lot of silly statements on this board. Pastornicky isn’t moving to another position, and he certainly doesn’t project as a better player in any facet of the game than Simmons. Simmons will be the SS long term, but the question remains: Do the Braves think he can make the jump from A ball. I think the answer is yes and Pastornicky will be trade bait as a league average SS prospect, possibly packaged with Jurrjens for a LF bat next year after Chipper leaves.

Bob the Blogger

March 15th, 2012
8:56 am

If Chipper retires at the end of this year, that will free up $14m. If the Braves keep Hudson one more year, that will free up $9m for 2014. That’s some serious money, but the Braves will need a bundle to re-sign McCann, not to mention Bourn.

Bob the Blogger

March 15th, 2012
8:59 am

Pastornicky may prove to be a good infield backup if Simmons makes it. And what if Simmons proves not to be ML ready with the bat?

MikeY

March 15th, 2012
9:03 am

Brownie, I agree w/ you that JJ may be traded. But I think not Hanson. But McCann, Bourn, Huddy are candidates if the Braves are out of the pennant race.

My prediction of the Braves starting lineup in 2013: Bethancourt, Freeman, Uggla, Simmons, Terdo, Heyward. CF and LF up for grabs. SP: Minor, Delgado, Teheran, Hanson, Gilmartin. RP: Kimbrell, Venters, O’Flaherty, Medlin, Martinez, Moylen, Vizcaino.

If my predictions are correct, you can see that this team is in serious transition over the next year.. AND that we free up some serious money for CF and LF.

I am still optimistic for 2012, I am hopeful that we stay in contention and elect to keep Huddy and McCann through 2013, and can take a serious shot at keeping Bourn. But he will likely be wanting something like 7 years at $15M+ per year, and I do not see the Liberty Media owned Braves parting with that kind of money.

proverbsI-23

March 15th, 2012
9:03 am

@2:oo must agree on Parraz, Sutton & Simmons. I do like Durango better than Constanza. Diaz I don’t care for at all but he is under contract for this year and would have to be traded..who would want him? The Braves went south last year when they got him back.
Go Braves.

Turtsnap

March 15th, 2012
9:12 am

Dale Murphy’s son is getting married? God I am getting old!!

Joey

March 15th, 2012
9:29 am

Well, that’s it. If we all agree on Simmons, Fredi will surely choose Pastornicky . . .

art

March 15th, 2012
9:44 am

Anyone but Costanza in the outfield. I saw him go back on a ball in left field and he looked lost. Too bad there is no designated runner.

Auburn Fan

March 15th, 2012
10:10 am

Here we go again. Time for the Braves to keep us interested until they fall apart in the Fall. How many times are they going to do this?

Bama Mike

March 15th, 2012
10:30 am

To me it just reflect hwo clueless the Braves are at key postions. Single A right to the major leagues? Yeah right. As for as Pastorstinky appears he is still a couple of years away based on his offensive output. But knowing the new Braves before the season is out we will have the legendary Jack Wilson at 3rd and Pastorstinky at SS full time. Until we get some bats in the line up 3rd place tops

Dr. Phil

March 15th, 2012
10:31 am

Uggla looks the part of a nasty, mean spirited slugger, but will he hit?

Derek

March 15th, 2012
10:39 am

If Pastornicky doesn’t work out, then the Escobar trade would be an all-out bust for ATL (receiving A-Gonz, Pastornicky). Yes, we shipped Escobar out because of his inability to mesh within the Braves culture, and it’s great that we’ve found Simmons, but we can’t be giving players away like we did Escobar, who was a young, talented, affordable player at a premium position. We should have gotten more for him than that.

Derek

March 15th, 2012
10:42 am

It’s sad so many bitter Braves “fans” on here talking about their inability to mine talent – though they were ranked 3rd in MLB in 2011 – and predicting collapses. Please go cheer for the Cubs.

Dirty Dawg

March 15th, 2012
10:44 am

Nothing against the Paster-whatshisname-kid, but young (actually older than Paster) Mr Simmons just jumps off the page at you…and from what they’ve shown so far, the Braves will need something to get the faithful fired up. Also, and while his Spring hasn’t exactly shown it, and at least from the two blasts he had yesterday, Jayson can still knock the pi$$ out of pitches in his wheelhouse. Here’s hoping that he has a true ‘breakout’, entire, season, cause his rookie one lasted only about an opening day, first-at-bat, homer…although it was good enough to get him to the All-Star Game.

cowdogit

March 15th, 2012
10:47 am

Chipper owns a business where a customer shoots an arrow into an animal feeding in a baited field, most of the time the poor creature will run off to die a slow agonizing death. Why in Atlanta” is Chipper a hero and Michael Vick was run out of town for this terrible crime against GODS most beautiful animals.

phil

March 15th, 2012
10:57 am

cowdogit – good grief….

Fire FG!!

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
11:13 am

Good morning Everyone, Big victory last nite. I was working. How did my man Freeman do?

El Bravo

March 15th, 2012
11:24 am

Andrelton needs to figure out AA pitching before they bring him up to the Majors. I hope they don’t rush the kid…

N'Qan

March 15th, 2012
11:29 am

4th or worse in division.

N'Qan

March 15th, 2012
11:32 am

Fredi G. is not the man for this job. He overuses pitchers, and leaves them in too long when they are not getting anyone out. Next thing you know, three runs down.

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
11:33 am

Cmon NQuan , You didnt see a little hope last nite?

oldguy

March 15th, 2012
11:53 am

Forget resigning Bourne….his agent is Scott V Boras and we all lnow how that will work out.One question guys……Is Heyward gonna be another Francouer?

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
11:56 am

I dont think Heyward is even as good Franceour.

jim

March 15th, 2012
12:07 pm

Samantha,
Freeman did not have a good night at the bat. 2 K’s and nothing out of the infield.

The play on the ball near 2B is one Simmons will make 8 or 9 times out of 10. It is a play he CAN and will make regularly.
The play on Jeter’s grounder that Pastornicky didn’t make, is one he will have trouble with most of the time — particularly with faster runners. It is a play Simmons will make fairly routinely. The diving stop and throw that Simmons made last night is one that Pastor will never make.
For all the talk of Simmons weak bat, he did lead the A+ league in hitting by 20 points more than the next guy, and he did not strike out a lot. He may not be ready for the jump yet, but he will be the starting SS by Aug 1, if not a lot sooner.

jim

March 15th, 2012
12:12 pm

Every Brave fan better hope that Heyward has a lot of nights like last night, because if he is another Francouer, we are in big trouble. Much of the Braves future is predicated on Heyward being The Man.

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
12:13 pm

So my man did not do well. Hopefully he doesnt go in a sophomore slump.

Skeezix

March 15th, 2012
12:27 pm

First time I have had a chance to watch the Braves this ST. I like the way young Simmons fields his position and Heyward looked real comfortable at the plate.

Skeezix

March 15th, 2012
12:30 pm

I also enjoyed Murph last night. I hope they use him in the booth more.

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
12:38 pm

Like I said, I was not able to see game. Are you saying that Dale Murphy is going to announce for us now. I wish that I could have seen him play

Skeezix

March 15th, 2012
12:43 pm

Murph is one of my all time favorite Braves — in his prime he was really something. But he more importantly is a great person– very community oriented, humble, and of high character.

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
12:52 pm

I have heard about him and watched old film of him. Everyone says he was great. He was thru playing before I was born I guess because I never got to see him play.

Mark (another one)

March 15th, 2012
12:52 pm

Be aware that Freeman says he is a traditionally a slow starter. Don’t give up on him yet. His defense is still there and the timing for his hitting will return. He just needs to keep playing.

As for SS, Fredi will take whomever gives him the best chance to win. Right now that appears to be Simmons. Next month it may not. Right now most pitchers are working on their curves and changeups. During the season, those pitches will be working or not thrown. Simmons has great potential but there is value to a player to come up through the rankings.

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
12:58 pm

I hope your right about Freeman. He is my favorite player. Do you think Simmons will be our Opening day starter?

dap01

March 15th, 2012
1:07 pm

cowdung: Surely you are as stupid as you sound.

Bernard

March 15th, 2012
1:57 pm

Spring has sprung…play ball!
good luck Braves!!!…lets just forget the last 2 years…

Mark (another one)

March 15th, 2012
2:22 pm

I think that Simmons has all the potential to start. I worry about his offense but that is also the worry with The Rev. Both are young, so I would go with the hot hand.

reckingball

March 15th, 2012
2:33 pm

The winning has started for the Braves.
Go Braves!

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
2:35 pm

I completely agree Mark, I think they are all struggling right now, but showing signs of life. I am real excited about getting to see them play live instead of TV. I have already got my ticket for game two of Milwakee series.

JeanE

March 15th, 2012
5:10 pm

All you Diaz bashers can stuff it you-know-where: he hit a homer, whooooo hoooooooooo!!! Way to go Matty!!

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
5:18 pm

I have never bashed Diaz. I have always liked Matty also he is the team barber.

Paddy

March 15th, 2012
5:23 pm

Derek……..If Escobar could not play for Bobby Cox, he can’t play for anybody.

cowdogit

March 15th, 2012
5:28 pm

Fourteen division titles, one world series ring. If Chipper could hit in the clutch, at least five rings.

pat

March 15th, 2012
5:30 pm

Why can’t we hit? WHY?

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
5:34 pm

cowdogit. There you go cutting down Chipper again I am really tired of listening to all Cipper haters.

pat

March 15th, 2012
5:37 pm

My problem is that show no signs of learning their lesson from the collapse. Everybody is so casual about it, like it couldn’t happen again. It bothers me, a lot.
These guys are showing us no signs of taking what happened last year seriously and rectifying. They just seem like it couldn’t possibly happen again because of providence, not effort.
I want effort, I want knocking guys in, I want to grind out at bats, get guys over from third.
We’re still playing base to base and going bat to bat with every team, but we don’t have the bats to do that with. We need strategy.

They say they care but they don’t act like it. They look like they are still collapsing.

Make no mistake, I am still royally pissed about the collapse. We fans deserve better than that. We’re there through thick and thin. It’d be nice if that acted like that mattered to them.

pat

March 15th, 2012
5:40 pm

Chipper is holding the team hostage with his giant salary and mediocre play. That’s the problem. He’s not going to produce much except a butt-print on the bench this year.
$18 mil can buy some really thick skin. He’ll get over it. We want to win, not see how long Chipper can drag out his career.

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
5:44 pm

Pat, I have seen a little improvement, and I think we all need a little patience and faith. The main thingI have noticed is that if they dont hit a homerun , they dont score.

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
5:50 pm

Pat why dont you join cowdogit with your Chipper remarks. I do not want to hear it.

Braves Fan Since 1966

March 15th, 2012
6:12 pm

I say we stick with Simmons.

Samantha

March 15th, 2012
6:16 pm

I say Sutton. More experience.

Raquel

March 17th, 2012
12:27 pm

Samantha

March 17th, 2012
12:52 pm

Raquel

March 17th, 2012
1:04 pm

Samantha

March 17th, 2012
2:02 pm

Hello everyone

Samantha

March 17th, 2012
4:47 pm

I love the braves.

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