The Braves optioned Tyler Pastornicky to Triple-A Gwinnett to make way for Andrelton Simmons, a player they feel is more advanced defensively at shortstop. But that doesn’t mean Pastornicky doesn’t fit into their plans anymore.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez reiterated Friday that Pastornicky is still a “big part of this organization” and they plan to show it by converting him into more of a utility player in Triple-A Gwinnett.
Gonzalez said they plan to play Pastornicky some at second base, in addition to shortstop, and before the summer is out to get him action in the outfield.
“Omar Infante has played (11) years in the big leagues,” Gonzalez said. “He started as a shortstop. He came here to Atlanta, played a little second base, center, left, then he got into a situation where he’s an every-day second baseman (with the Marlins). We see Tyler as the same type of player. We see Tyler being in this organization and making an impact the same way.”
Gonzalez said he was pleased with how Pastornicky handled his demotion Wednesday night, “he took it pretty good.” “The Rev” has definitely made a positive impression on his teammates. His lockermate and double-play partner Dan Uggla did a lot of the comforting, talking to Pastornicky on Wednesday night.
“He’s not the type of kid who’s a punk,” Uggla said. “He’s not going to take any (junk) from anybody. Once he gets smacked in the mouth like this, he’s going to smack back. And that’s just kind of the mentality he’s got and the mentality you need to have in order to get back where you want to be. It’s tough to see that, but he took it like a man.”
Jones might need more time
Gonzalez indicated Friday that Chipper Jones might need a little longer than 15 days to recover from the calf contusion he suffered on a sharply hit one-hopper in Tampa. Jones is eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday, June 8 against Toronto.
“He doesn’t know if he’s going to be ready right when those 15 days are up,” said Gonzalez, who spoke to Jones about it on Wednesday.
One thing Gonzalez is going to stress with Jones is that he gets in some minor league rehabilitation games before he returns, something Jones typically prefers not to do.
“You hate to bring him back without doing any stuff and all of a sudden bang we lose him again for another 15 days,” Gonzalez said.
Jones did not make the trip to Washington but is expected to rejoin the Braves Tuesday in Miami.