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.
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.