Pastornicky goes 4-for-5 in tie with Marlins

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.”

Next up

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.

44 comments Add your comment

eskippy

March 22nd, 2012
6:25 pm

Dawgdad (The Original)

March 22nd, 2012
6:32 pm

Nice job David.

pastor mackdaddy

March 22nd, 2012
6:33 pm

is jair jurrgens still on track to be the opening day pitcher?

Ralph

March 22nd, 2012
6:37 pm

flange1

March 22nd, 2012
6:58 pm

Nice job Chris!

BC

March 22nd, 2012
7:09 pm

You gotta, think that Pastornicky has the advantage, in the hitting area, and would be more suited to MLB pitching, but,,,,, when you look at young Mr. SImmons, fielding abilities?????? You say WOW !!!!!!

Greg

March 22nd, 2012
7:22 pm

Simmons may be worth about -.75 hits per game for the opponent. That’s big. It’s like hitting .250 before you pick up the bat.

Bill

March 22nd, 2012
7:25 pm

Thanks Chris..I’d take the D over hitting anytime and so would the pitchers..but if “Rev” can do both…thats something else. Go Braves.

FF getting hot–he’s the key.

Bill

March 22nd, 2012
7:26 pm

u right Greg..agree

Jorden

March 22nd, 2012
7:37 pm

Pastornicky needs to start.

Tim

March 22nd, 2012
7:58 pm

If the rest of the lineup carries their weight then we won’t need offense from the SS position and we could go with Simmons and his superb defense.

Braveslog

March 22nd, 2012
8:07 pm

Pastornicky looked better today and is finally starting to come around.

But the option nobody is talking about is Drew Sutton at SS. I talk about it a bit here:
http://braveslog.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/dont-stop-believeing/

phil

March 22nd, 2012
8:22 pm

Meanwhile, what has Heyward been doing? Aside from hitting the clubs?

cowdogit

March 22nd, 2012
8:38 pm

You animal lovers that are praising Chipper are the biggest hypocrites in Atlanta.

Justin

March 22nd, 2012
8:47 pm

Nice blog, Braveslog. I’d be all for Sutton being on the team – as a starter or the super-utility player. I even went as far as to trade for him in the XBox MLB game :) I wouldn’t get too excited about Pastornicky’s day….sun even shines on a sleeping dog’s…well, you know. I think there’s no question that the upside with Simmons is better – it’s already there with defense, but I think offensively, he could be special too.

Glad to see Freeman coming around too…

ctrl

March 22nd, 2012
9:01 pm

screw simmons, and you fans of his!
did AGon’s great defense make up for his crap hitting? same thing with Simmons, don’t want him up here till he proves he can hit worth a damn.

old man

March 22nd, 2012
9:19 pm

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a three way contest–Pastor, Simmons, Sutton. I sure hope we are giving Sutton an equal look. If we were picking sandlot teams right now, I would pick Sutton before either of the other two.

Bob the Blogger

March 22nd, 2012
9:46 pm

It doesn’t appear that Sutton is being considered since Pastornicky and Simmons are starting every other day, but he’s a viable option with major league experience. If Pastornicky continues to hit, I think he’ll win the spot as originally planned. Sutton is a stop gap solution, Pastornicky may be a solid utility player or perhaps more, but down the road Simmons will probably be the man.

Tana

March 22nd, 2012
10:33 pm

I have never seen so many people get on a bandwagon because of someone’s defense. If P-Nicky can hit a little and stop a ground ball, Ill take that over a guy who can’t hit and fileds. Ground balls are ground balls, and Double Plays are Double Plays.

hate to say it but I feel like a lot of people are on the Simmons bandwagon because the Major Leagues has become a bit subject towards everyday white shortstops. Everyone thinks they have to have some guy from another country who “looks the part”.

richbrave

March 22nd, 2012
11:02 pm

FREEMAN and PASTERNICKY remind me of the ‘Just in time’ parts management system initiated by an American, and adopted by the Japanese.

Great to see both have breakout days.

richbrave

March 22nd, 2012
11:06 pm

Bob the Blogger
March 22nd, 2012
9:46 pm

“………It doesn’t appear that Sutton is being considered since Pastornicky and Simmons are starting every other day, but he’s a viable option with major league experience……….”

Limited – 178 PA total in the majors.

richbrave

March 22nd, 2012
11:10 pm

Tana
March 22nd, 2012
10:33 pm

“……….I have never seen so many people get on a bandwagon because of someone’s defense. If P-Nicky can hit a little and stop a ground ball, Ill take that over a guy who can’t hit and fileds. Ground balls are ground balls, and Double Plays are Double Plays.

hate to say it but I feel like a lot of people are on the Simmons bandwagon because the Major Leagues has become a bit subject towards everyday white shortstops. Everyone thinks they have to have some guy from another country who “looks the part”……….”

Plueeze. The color of his skin’s got nothing to do with it. He’s exciting to watch because he can pick it better than the alternative, but i said today his bat has quite a ways to go. About two years worth. PASTOR and DREW are both ahead of him in that catagory. he’ll go to AA and SUTTON to GWINNETT while the REV and WILSON man the SS position in ATLANTA starting out.

Tim

March 22nd, 2012
11:34 pm

@Tana

Race? This has nothing to do with race. Pastornicky is a very average at best defensive shortstop and with our pitching staff being heavily depended on the infielders making plays you want to put the best defensive team on the field you can. If Bourn, Prado, Chipper, Heyward, Uggla, McCann and Freeman all hit we won’t need to get offense from our SS.

DE Braves Fan

March 22nd, 2012
11:49 pm

Honestly the hatred towards Gonzo was really unwarranted. His defense DID make up for his offense in my opinion.

DE Braves Fan

March 22nd, 2012
11:52 pm

And no the conversation has nothing to do with race. (Why does EVERYTHING have to be because of race nowadays anyways?) The conversation started among fans at least because the thing Pastornicky has over Simmons(hitting) he was not doing too much better(probably doing even worse than Simmons at points) while Simmons has easily outshined Pastornicky defensively.

DE Braves Fan

March 22nd, 2012
11:53 pm

Finally everyone talking about Sutton from reports I have read his range is even worse than Pastornicky’s.

kangaroo Court

March 23rd, 2012
4:02 am

Let the rest of Spring Training play itself out. This isn’t high school ball where someone gets to play because Daddy is putting $, into the booster club. The best SS will start and then he will have to prove himself through the regular season, and hold onto the position.

Slim Shaddy

March 23rd, 2012
8:09 am

So maybe next year Prado plays 3B and Braves sign an impact bat in LF ? You never know with these clowns though…

Richard

March 23rd, 2012
8:16 am

Out of curiosity, why do we have Kimbrel pitching so early in games? Seems like you would want him to get used to the high leverage innings he’ll pitch in the regular season.

iliketacos

March 23rd, 2012
8:24 am

Why not have that great larry jones pitch every game? braves would never lose. pack it up larry. you packed it in years ago.

Buddy Landel

March 23rd, 2012
8:31 am

Kimbrel pitches earlier in games so he can throw against the opponent’s regulars.

ole man

March 23rd, 2012
8:41 am

Prado better have a good are better year are he will be gone..bet on it.

The best don’t always win out Kangaroo…Fredi & Wren pick who “they” want..not always the best.

It was time for Gonzo to go!

Would love to see Parrazz, Sutton and Dodge Durango make the team..Trade Diaz & Wilson.

Braveslog==good job.

Jack Flash

March 23rd, 2012
8:49 am

@ 8:24
go eat your tacos–its obvious you don’t know baseball~~period.

Homer

March 23rd, 2012
8:54 am

David O’Brien – I love you

Don Gurian

March 23rd, 2012
8:57 am

Why not platoon Pastor and Simmons and leave Wilson in the minors? He doesn’t cost much and can be brought up if needed.

Let's Go

March 23rd, 2012
8:58 am

DOB
Any chance the Braves send Pastornicky back down and have him play 3rd Base at AAA this year? I know most assume Prado would be the 3rd baseman in the future but he’s got another year of arbitration and then free agency so unless they are ready to sign him long term wouldn’t it make sense to look within for Chipper’s replacement?

bvillebaron

March 23rd, 2012
9:00 am

DE Braves Fan:

Well maybe you think Gonzo’s defense made up for his bat, but I don’t. I couldn’t stand to see the guy scowl and then literally trot to first base every time he popped up or grounded out, often in key situations. His situational hitting last year was pathetic. Give me either Pastornicky or Simmons–at least they will hustle.

Heathcliff Slocum

March 23rd, 2012
9:58 am

Our less than stellar record aside, it’s been fun to watching the Braves this spring with the SS battle, questions about what to do with the two young outfielders who have been lighting it up and, for a bunch of us who did not know him, watching the versatility and bat of Drew Sutton.

JT

March 23rd, 2012
10:04 am

Pastornicky needs to be named the starter and Simmons sent to the minor league camp. Both guys would then get the needed at bats the rest of spring training. Fredi is an idiot for continue to alternate these youngsters. It isn’t helping either of them.

Big Earl

March 23rd, 2012
10:33 am

Hey DOB, On the lighter side…every time I read one of your columns I think I’m reading one written by Ben Stiller. Your picture looks almost identical. Does anybody else see the resemblance? Check this out.

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.walletpop.com/blog/media/import/470fb0c1-00090-06e9a-400cb8e1_5178.jpg

LivinInAL

March 23rd, 2012
11:26 am

With the battle going for an opening day starter at shortstop, it appears the playing time will become a bit crowded with Wilson’s return.

Fog

March 23rd, 2012
12:28 pm

As spring training often does, it is weeding out the team and giving a look at the possible future. Pastornicky seems to be getting more comfortable and Simmons is showing his weakness for hitting (at this level). Smart money has Pastornicky as our starting SS and Simmons goes down to get more at bats at AA as he hopefully learns how to hit big league pitching (we all know he has the glove already). Wilson gets the bench role as a mentor to Pastornicky. Sutton goes to AAA to be ready just in case.
Thank you Chipper for the many years! Especially want to thank you for making the decision to retire. Barring injury, the Braves will make no moves until late in the year if necessary or in the off-season. The Braves will have more money now to invest in either our young pitchers or new everyday players. This is a huge flexibility issue for the Braves.
Outside of Hudson, we have 1 – 21 year old, 2 – 22 yrs, 2 – 24 yrs, 1 – 25 yrs, 4 – 26 yrs, 3 – 27 yrs, 2 – 28 yrs & 1 – 30 year old on our 40-man roster. This is one of the youngest staffs in all of baseball. It could become a dominantly staff given their considerable playing time, and that could last for years. Very excited about the future of Braves baseball!

Random

March 23rd, 2012
2:50 pm

“Hudson, 36, said who he experienced no pain in his back after the lumbar spine fusion) but it did tire during the session.”

???

John A.

March 24th, 2012
12:58 pm

Gonzo was let go because his fielding ability was declining. True his hitting wasn’t great, but his ability to get to balls (range) was poor at best. Pastor and Simmons both are in need of hitting on AAA level. Leave Sutton on the roster along with Wilson. Our pitching needs some serious help. Where is Roger? Doesn’t he go to ST? As of yesterday his body has been absent!!!! Also, what are Walker and Fletcher doing…just drawing a paycheck? With the lack of hitting one would think those two would be more visible.

Add your comment