LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – There is still a long way to go in determining the Braves starting shortstop position. Tyler Pastornicky put a plus in his column with a 4-for-5 day at the plate in the Braves’ 10-inning 5-5 tie against the Marlins at Champion Stadium Thursday afternoon. He also drove in a run.
Pastornicky is locked in a battle with Andrelton Simmons for the shortstop position. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he will continue to rotate the two players in a battle he believes will go down until the final days of spring training.
“You have to realize that it is still baseball,” Pastornicky said. “I didn’t lost sight of that I was just putting a lot of added pressure on myself. The situation I’m in, you don’t want to put any more pressure than you already have.”
Pastornicky, as a pinch-hitter, had a big hit in Wednesday’s win over the Nationals.
Freddie Freeman went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, including a two-run homer, for the Braves (6-13-3). Trailing going into their ninth inning, Jordan Parazz doubled and scored on a passed ball after Martin Prado sacrificed him to third to send them game in the extra inning.
Brandon Beachy allowed nine hits and four earned runs in five innings. He struck out five and walked one.
“I take some positives away,” Beachy said. “I commanded my fastball better today than I did last time. I’m doing a decent job of getting it in or out. I need to be better by getting it down now. The up and down is where I need to hone in for my next start. Once I do that, I get that finish to get the ball down in the zone a little bit, I think the change-up and the slider and the curveball will all become a little bit sharper for me.”
On the mend
Right-hander Tim Hudson threw for the fourth time since undergoing offseason back surgery. Hudson threw five minutes on the side and then, for the first time, added five minutes of live batting practice. He will do than same Sunday and then again Wednesday, adding five more minutes of batting practice.
“I feel really, really good where I’m at,” Hudson said. “Not only physically but stuff-wise too.”
Hudson, 36, said who he experienced no pain in his back after the lumbar spine fusion) but it did tire during the session. He has said he hopes to return by May 1.
Shortstop Jack Wilson, out with a strained right calf, was one player to hit against Hudson. He then competed in a minor-league game for his first action of the spring.
Wilson, 34, strained his calf in offseason workouts at his home in California. He was expected to be out 4 to 6 weeks. That timeline seems accurate as Wilson reminded that he suffered the injury four weeks and one day ago.
“They did a great job getting me back,” said Wilson, who expects to play two or three minor-league games before rejoining the big club. “It will just be a couple of days and then I can really start getting after it.”
The Braves host the Mets Friday with left-hander Mike Minor scheduled to start. He will be followed by Craig Kimbrel, Eric O’Flaherty and Yohan Flande.