Shortstop prospect Simmons has sore side

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons has missed three games with a sore left side, which the Braves are treating with caution to prevent a lingering injury.

“It’s nothing big, that’s why he hasn’t played in a couple of days,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We’re trying to not let something small become big, which can happen with those obliques. He doesn’t need to show us anymore what he can do defensively. He’s pretty solid.”

Simmons has been in a spring-training competition with fellow rookie Tyler Pastornicky for the starting shortstop job, which was thought to be Pastornicky’s to lose entering camp. Pastornicky struggled for the first two weeks of Grapefruit League games but has improved recently at the plate and in the field.

Simmons has no experience above Class A, but is a superb fielder who possesses what many believe would be the best arm of any National League position player.

Gonzalez plans to announce his starting shortstop Sunday or Monday. The other of the two will be sent to the minors.

Pastornicky is 8-for-22 in his past seven games, after going 8-for-43 in his first 15 games. He’s hit .215 with .248 on-base percentage.

Simmons, meanwhile, has cooled since the first week of the exhibition schedule. He had three hits including a triple in his first seven at-bats, but is 5-for-36 since to drop his average to .186 with a .233 OBP.

29 comments Add your comment

BravesfaninWis

March 31st, 2012
3:02 pm

Looks like Pastornicky will be the SS.

B-F_52

March 31st, 2012
3:21 pm

I hope so why rush the other guy?

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

March 31st, 2012
3:21 pm

I dont understand the mindset. The mgt doesn’t expect any offensive production from the SS position. Is that a good attitude to have when your goal is to win championships?

Bravothusiast

March 31st, 2012
3:30 pm

Fredi has already done his damage here. Rev should have gotten nearly double the plate appearances he has gotten so far, appearances he desperately needs. Not to mention the reps he needs in the field. If Simmons wins the job, you completely screw up his progress and risk Pastornicky losing confidence. All for what? So Simmons can hit an empty .235 with a terrible on base percentage? The Rev should have been named the starter long ago. He at least has a chance to hit .260/.270 with doubles power. Thanks Fredi.

ncgary

March 31st, 2012
3:41 pm

someine gas to make the outs

Don

March 31st, 2012
4:00 pm

I will bet anyone that Simmons would win many more games with is glove than Pastornicky ever wins with his bat. Also, Simmons is not much younger than Pastornicky, in fact he is slightly older, so expecting “the young” guy to eventually take over is not realistic. Finally, I remember being at the ball game when another kid made his debut at short stop after coming up as a defensive wizzard and a great arm. He too did not play beyond A ball and as I remember R. Furcal was not too bad.

[...] Source: ajc.com [...]

Largo

March 31st, 2012
4:40 pm

Pastornicky will get the starting SS job. . . and probably should.

Bravothusiast

March 31st, 2012
4:43 pm

The age argument actually works against Simmons here. He’s older than a lot of ppl in High A, so you would expect him to outperform. There is a HUGE difference between Simmons and Furcal. Furcal was a top rated prospect, Simmons isn’t. Furcal takes walks, Simmons never has. Furcal has a little bit of pop in his bat, Simmons does not. Let Simmons continue to develop his approach in the minors, and he has a shot at being an average big league regular. Does he have a higher ceiling than Pastornicky? Absolutely. But you play him now and you risk f’ing everything up. It’s not the right baseball move. Pastornicky’s defensive ability is not as far off from Simmon’s as most think.

Stinger2

March 31st, 2012
5:00 pm

The blog “braves managers” are now in the process of deciding who the ss should be. Fredi appreciates your
doing his job but he said he will not share any of his paychecks with you.

JNick

March 31st, 2012
5:07 pm

I’m starting to think Jack Wilson should start…been hitting the ball pretty decently since he came back.

0-my

March 31st, 2012
5:10 pm

Jack hitting?

Cuba BB Dominance

March 31st, 2012
5:15 pm

@ Bravothusiast Pastornicky has 65 ST plate appearances, which puts him in the top 20 in all MLB. Double that would put him at 130, with Hunter Pence coming in 2nd with 77. Even if he had played all 27 games with 4 AB’s per game, he’d only have had 108 AB’s. Dude, look up the stats before sounding off!

JNick

March 31st, 2012
5:38 pm

Ya, Wilson had an extra-base hit the other day…lol. He’s hitting about the same as the other two…

Bravothusiast

March 31st, 2012
5:53 pm

Cuba, sorry, “nearly double” would be crazy, you’re right. But if I have a brand new SS who’s never seen big league action, I want him #1 in plate appearances. Let’s say 85? The point remains the same, Simmons should be out of the picture and The Rev should have been getting more reps. Sorry if you didn’t understand the point I was trying to get across.

HAL

March 31st, 2012
6:19 pm

the guy that should be playing ss IS for the blue jays lol

Bravothusiast

March 31st, 2012
6:27 pm

Hal is right.

panamajack

March 31st, 2012
7:28 pm

There are very few things I agree with Fruti and Frank on but I believe they were right to have that competition between the two short stops, I think the Rev has it in the bag now but either one would be ok with me.

Joe Nuxall

March 31st, 2012
7:30 pm

I say the Pastor will get the job, but will fall flat before the middle of the season. Simmons will the SS by the latter part of the season and excel.

BravingtheStorm

March 31st, 2012
9:08 pm

I’d say start Simmons if he had Furcal’s speed, but he doesn’t. Furcal had 96 stolen bases in 126 games in 1999. Simmons had 26 stolen bases in 131 games last year. Speed never slumps.

bruce

March 31st, 2012
10:09 pm

DOB: “a superb fielder who possesses what many believe would be the best arm of any National League position player.”

awesome.

Bob the Blogger

March 31st, 2012
11:27 pm

Rather than putting pressure on Pastornicky by tabbing him as the likely starter, I think the Braves should have just described it as an open competition. In the end, they will start the player whom they feel won the spot, so pre-labeling Pastornicky as the probable starter served no real purpose.

Smoove Criminal

March 31st, 2012
11:51 pm

Simmons will the SS by the latter part of the season and excel
————————————–

Put a lid on the paint can and cap the magic markers. The only the that happens is if Pastornicky pulls a Jordan Schafer and hits at the Mendoza line all season long. Simmons needs another season in the minors to work on his hitting.

BartBuzz

April 1st, 2012
9:33 am

Sounds like the SS decision has been made a no brainer. Go with whose performance is getting better.

Murph

April 11th, 2012
1:25 pm

Hello ladies….

Crystal

April 11th, 2012
1:32 pm

Hello Murph….

Murph

April 11th, 2012
1:34 pm

Oh crap, gotta run… don’t hurt me.

Crystal

April 11th, 2012
1:35 pm

You aint’ going no where boy! No hanna rule here.

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