Hudson returns Monday; Pastornicky in SS lead?

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Four months after back surgery, pitcher Tim Hudson makes his much-anticipated return to competition with a start Monday against the Mets.

The Braves veteran is scheduled to pitch two innings, with Brandon Beachy taking over from there.

“Things are good, man,” said Hudson, 36. “The arm feels good. It’s getting in shape. My arm strength isn’t quite where I want it, but it’s pretty good for the stage of where I’m at – I’m in what amounts to the second week of spring training for me.”

Hudson had lumbar spine-fusion surgery Nov. 28 and resumed throwing in mid-January. The plan is for him  to make five or six rehab starts at Class-A Rome and Triple-A Gwinnett.

He’s tentatively set to make his first start for Rome on the road Saturday, then start the team’s home opener April 12.

“Two innings, make sure he knows where the plate is, and go forward,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said of expectations for Hudson on Monday. “That’s all. And just keep going forward. Make sure he gets in that five-day rotation and he’s healthy. Knowing him, he’s going to be excited to go out there and compete tomorrow.”

Pastornicky in shortstop lead?

Before they head north to Atlanta after Monday’s game, the Braves will probably inform Tyler Pastornicky and Andrelton Simmons which of the rookies has the shortstop job. Pastornicky appears the likely choice based on his performance in the past 10 days, coupled with Simmons’ strained left side and recent slump.

Pastornicky had three walks and a single in five plate appearances Sunday and has hit .375 (9-for-24) since March 21.

The one who doesn’t get the major league job is expected to start the season at Triple-A Gwinnett.

Etc.

Martin Prado had sore legs Saturday after playing seven out of eight games and lifting weights, so Gonzalez rested him Saturday and Sunday. Prado wanted to play Sunday, but Gonzalez told him he’d be back in the lineup Monday against the Mets and Tuesday when the Braves play a team of their top prospects at Gwinnett’s Coolray Field…. Chipper Jones, recovering from last week’s arthroscopic knee surgery, will rejoin the Braves on Tuesday and likely take batting practice before the game at Gwinnett. The third baseman will begin the season on the 15-day DL and hopes to be back for the Brave’s home opener April 13 vs. Milwaukee…. Tommy Hanson, named opening day starter on Saturday, will be the youngest (25) to start a season opener for the Braves since John Smoltz (23) in 1991.

53 comments Add your comment

bobulated

April 1st, 2012
6:37 pm

Pastornicky out of the gate with Simmons coming on strong later in the year for the playoff push.

Eric

April 1st, 2012
6:41 pm

I’d rather have Simmons :/

C'mon Son!

April 1st, 2012
6:45 pm

OK… so both Teheran and Delgado have been wretched this spring. Why in this world won’t Frank Wren just let Medlen be the 5th starter and let the kids get the kinks ironed out at Gwinnett?

Choices are good

April 1st, 2012
6:48 pm

With Terdo getting experience, either Rev or Simmons in AAA ball, and a new 24 year old third baseman, the future of the left side of the diamond looks good for the Braves. They have 4 players to play 2 spots. That is the kind of thing GMs like.

JT Grace

April 1st, 2012
7:04 pm

Glad to see it looks like Pastornicky has won the job. Simmons was quite obviously not ready for major league baseball.

Puma

April 1st, 2012
7:10 pm

DOB – who you feeling for the #5 spot?

Ralph

April 1st, 2012
7:23 pm

I’m betting Hernandez gets the 5th spot, Delgado and Teheran both go to Gwinette.

Rafael

April 1st, 2012
7:30 pm

Matt Diaz the OPENING DAY LF??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our franchise has hit ROCK-BOTTOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I told you Matt Diaz would get 300+ ABs on this team. WHY would you put a SURE OUT in the starting lineup?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you LIberty CHEAPIA and Frank Wren.

Freddie

April 1st, 2012
7:41 pm

Good point Ralph….that could happen. Either Hernandez or Medlin in the 5 spot will work !

Greene Hornet

April 1st, 2012
7:44 pm

Bobulated at 6:17: I agree completely. If Rev starts out at SS, Simmons could make a push later for playing time. I hope either or both plays well because it only benefits the team. I just don’t want whoever gets the start to flop or we will have two almost instant outs at the bottom of the line up with SS and P hitting 8th and 9th…

Greene Hornet

April 1st, 2012
7:45 pm

That should be 6:37pm, not 6:17 for the Bobulated comment I referred to…

Ralph

April 1st, 2012
7:46 pm

Freddi

I’m thinking thats the reason they got Livan.

Ralph

April 1st, 2012
7:55 pm

By the time the Braves need a 5th starter I feel like Hudson will be more ready to give the team 5 good innings than either Delgado or Teheran will be. I know that’s not going to happen but just sayin.

rugburn

April 1st, 2012
8:33 pm

the only reason i see to get livan is so we don’t have to face him. seems like we are the only ones that doesn’t beat him.

jo killa

April 1st, 2012
8:40 pm

livan is a soid pitcher and a solid hitter and as far as pastornicky in my opinion his bat is farther along than simmons cant wait till thursday

JNick

April 1st, 2012
8:51 pm

This is starting to remind me of the mid-90s Braves when they’d use Kent Merker and 2 other relievers to pitch in the 5th spot…2-4 innings each….usually went halfway-decently. I think they even had a combined no-hitter once…

Mark (another one)

April 1st, 2012
8:52 pm

The worries going into the year were SS and LF, and Chipper’s health. For all the complaining, Wren continues to build for this year and the future. We have two young players competing for the SS position and two more competing to replace Chipper next year. Prado is the steady hand that can play 3rd and LF. We just need the others to play to their potential.

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

masivatack

April 1st, 2012
9:19 pm

Dang Rafael.. Did Matt Diaz slap yo mamma or somethin’?

rugburn

April 1st, 2012
9:30 pm

he’s complaining about about diaz with a lineup that includes heyward and probably pastornicky.

Who Me?

April 1st, 2012
10:15 pm

The left side of this infield (with Larry Wayne out) is a complete unknown going into the start of the regular season. Alot of pressure and growing up in a hurry over there this season. I’m thinking 4th in the East still, unless our pitching just starts goose-egging opposing teams.

Why is Teheran still in the rotation at this stage, you can only skate by on potential (Heyward?) for so long….until he learns to keep pitches down and away, he could be the next Koufax and get worn out like a drum with the middle in fastball he throws. Every time he gets tired that thing gets above the belt and he gets hammered. Just damn ugly. Seriously needs to develop a cutter and a nasty slider and he’ll be OK.

LAG

April 1st, 2012
11:42 pm

rugburn – the only reason i see to get livan is so we don’t have to face him. seems like we are the only ones that doesn’t beat him.

In 37 career games against us (one relief appearance), Livan is 9-18. No one’s beaten him more often than we have.

Smoove Criminal

April 1st, 2012
11:48 pm

I’m not even sure why the SS position is still up for debate. Pastornicky has turned it around recently at the plate while Simmons has done the exact opposite and could choke on air right now in the batter box.

And with the new acquisition Francisco coming in, I’d much rather see him playing 3B with Prado in LF while Chipper is out than having Prado at 3B with Diaz in LF. However, I don’t guess it matters if we are winning. 4 more days, let the games begin.

Troy

April 1st, 2012
11:49 pm

Diaz is a joke!

buster brave

April 2nd, 2012
4:30 am

Looks good for the start of a long season.Only thing i hope the Braves do is let Medlen be the 5th starter,since supposedly stretched out,should easily handle the starts and go to the pen when Hudson gets back.Seems like the logical move.

longtimefan

April 2nd, 2012
6:42 am

Rugburn’s comment about Livan is typical of many of the bloggers on AJC. They make a statement as if fact, when in actuality it is only an opinion or ‘gut” feeling. Rafael, dude, get over it. Your continual rant about Liberty Media, Diaz and Wren is way old! I hope Diaz hits .400 just to keep you quiet.

klmbbfan

April 2nd, 2012
7:48 am

Has anybody ever really watched Diaz, he gives hope to all those kids that swing at balls over there head and run like a dork to catch a fly ball.. If he is in the majors than anyone can play there. After he strikes out he comes back to the dugout asking coaches what pitch did he throw to get me out. If he would open his eyes he would know.

Taylor Wooten

April 2nd, 2012
8:52 am

Pastornicky aint all that.

And whats up with Hanson??? He was only throwing 88-89 on Saturday vs Tigers. Verlander could dial it up to 96-97 when he wanted to.

Dr. Phil

April 2nd, 2012
8:55 am

Good luck, Hudson.

urban redneck

April 2nd, 2012
9:09 am

excited about huddy’s return. he brings energy to the whole pitching staff-surprising considering he is the old man on the staff.

yes, medlen should be the 5th starter when someone gets hurt. he would be a great reliever, but it is a waste of talent. livan hernandez? sigh. juan francisco? sigh unless the change of scenery turns him around.

liked hanson better when he looked like he moonlighted as a geico spokesperson.

anyone else excited about tomorrow nite?? whoo hoo!! see you at coolray!!!!!!!

Ralph

April 2nd, 2012
9:16 am

Teheran and Delgado should start the season either at Gwinnette or as middle relief bullpen pitchers, I see trade as an option now.

Ralph

April 2nd, 2012
9:16 am

Teheran and Delgado should start the season either at Gwinnette or as middle relief bullpen pitchers, I see trade as an option now.

Ralph

April 2nd, 2012
9:16 am

Teheran and Delgado should start the season either at Gwinnette or as middle relief bullpen pitchers, I see trade as an option now.

Ralph

April 2nd, 2012
9:17 am

Sorry about the tripple post, my computer is sick.

Heisenberg

April 2nd, 2012
9:24 am

Based on the TV commercials for the upcoming games at CoolRay field, I would say the SS job belongs to Pastornicky. Those commercials were listing Simmons as being on the rookies/futures team.

Heisenberg

April 2nd, 2012
9:29 am

Those same commercials also had Delgado & Teheran on that team I think. Do the people making the commercials know something?

DawgDad

April 2nd, 2012
9:39 am

Freddi hooked Teheran way too early yesterday.

I don’t have any problem with a youth movement, even at shortstop, but the kids need to earn their way into the lineup. Handing the shortstop job to Pastornicky is not likely to resemble the transition to Rafael Furcal or even Yunel Escobar (for all his faults, he could play).

Graham

April 2nd, 2012
9:39 am

Taylor, Hanson was throwing primarily a 2-seamer as opposed to his normal 4, just wanted to experiment with it and see if it was something he could trust going forward

Troy

April 2nd, 2012
10:02 am

Enter your comments here

reality

April 2nd, 2012
10:08 am

The issue on Medlin and Pastornicky is more a case of managers ALREADY deciding what they wanted to do, not performance related. No matter what reality tells them (notice what I did there) they are sticking with their judgement – this is a common theme with the Braves. Bobby Cox was famous for being pig headed. In this case the nut didn’t fall far from the tree.

reality

April 2nd, 2012
10:11 am

The movie MoneyBall shows the classic example the “100 years of baseball experience” attitude trumping common sense.

[...] Hudson returns Monday; Pastornicky in SS lead? | Atlanta Braves"Two innings, make sure he knows where the plate is, and go forward," manager Fredi Gonzalez said of expectations for Hudson on Monday. "That’s all. And just keep going forward. Make sure he gets in that five-day rotation and he’s healthy. Knowing him, he’s going to be excited to go out there and compete tomorrow." [...]

Fols

April 2nd, 2012
10:39 am

The curse of AGON will haunt us…we are forever going to have an automatic out followed by the pitcher. OUCH!

wayn-o

April 2nd, 2012
10:49 am

OK peeps, here’s how it works…

Francisco is the back up 3B so Prado can stay in LF & not have to switch back & forth.

Livan is taking over the spot/long relief spot in the bullpen so Medlen can be be use more effectively to save the mighty O’ventbrel.

jj

April 2nd, 2012
10:53 am

Hey,it is just April 2,and it is a long way to Oct,so let’s chill and enjoy this season of. The changing of the look of this Team.I like the moves Frank has made to transition this Team post Larry Wayne 2 a whole lot of new faces .I look at this Team and see that the TEAM of the 9’s has passed and a new journey begins.Man,I love it and can’t wait 2 see how it pans out!GOi BBRAVES!

jj

April 2nd, 2012
11:00 am

Sorry in previous post I meant 90’s instead of 9’s.I am ready 2 ride,but I sure wish YE was still at ss.Thanks again BC! GO BRAVES

AGTFan53

April 2nd, 2012
11:04 am

I think Simmons hurt his chances by rushing himself back from his strained left side. I think if he had waited a few days, he’d be hitting better. Young players in the heat of competition sometimes won’t admit they’re still hurting a little. Pastornicky is going to be a fine major league shortstop. Some time at AAA should really help Simmons. As normal, Braves fans on this blog out their opinions above the actual data. If you look at the numbers instead of your opinions, you see that Diaz is a good hitter and better player than he’s given credit for on this blog. You’ll also see that Pastornicky has in fact won the job to start the season. Most of you apparently don’t understand the value Medlin brings to the bullpen. Middle relievers are some of the unsung heroes in baseball. Medlin will get some some starts during the year. Having him in the pen is going to do so much to keep Venters and Kimbrell fresh for the end of the season. No one realizes how much we were hurt in the last month of the season because we didn’t have a Medlin to shoulder some of the load during the early part of the season. I love “reality” siting Moneyball to justify his mistaken opinion when Moneyball type of reasoning would do just what the Braves are apparently going to do. By the way if you looked at the style of play advocated in Moneyball, you’ll see that Bobby Cox mostly managed that way. Don’t give up too many outs by bunting or stealing. Give your hitters the chance to hit instead of always sacrificing. Bobby was of course despised by some of the so called fans for not over-managing the way they wanted him to.

John A.

April 2nd, 2012
11:28 am

With the Pastor (unproven rookie) at short, Teheran onthe mound (awful stats in ST) along with Delgado (another unproven) JHEY in RF (I’m still not convinced he can hit),……it’s not looking good. I see we got another underachiever yesterday….just what we need.

Huh?

April 2nd, 2012
11:35 am

For all of you trashing Matt Diaz you should really watch the games a little closer. Matt has been clutch for our squad for years. GO BRAVES!

Huh?

April 2nd, 2012
11:40 am

also -> 2006 .327
2007 .338
2008 .244 (only a little over 40 games)
2009 .313
2010 .250
2011 .286

These are all years Matty D played for the Braves. Career average of .296

CARRAMROD

April 2nd, 2012
11:57 am

Matty is here because he CRUSHES Left Handed Pitchers. That is why he will be in LF on opening day against Johan! Prado will be at 3rd and Pastor will be at SS.

Braves rooter

April 2nd, 2012
12:38 pm

Prado will be the opening day left fielder. They traded for a 3rd baseman remember.

WBuckATC

April 2nd, 2012
2:22 pm

Guys need to quit ripping on Diaz. Players like Diaz, Hinske, Ross and Wilson are veterans and can fill a void for a week to 10 days as needed and also give a regular an occassional day off. They are the players you need on a team in order to have a solid season. They are not everyday players at this point in their career but accept their role on the team. Some of you act like our bench should be a team of all stars.

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