Versatile Prado appreciated by Braves teammates

SAN DIEGO – After starting games at four different positions during the long weekend series at San Francisco, Martin Prado made it five positions in seven games Wednesday when he started at first base against San Diego.

“Oh, man, that’s impressive because you know it’s tough,” Braves right fielder Jason Heyward said. “I mean, people say they just want to be on the field or they just want to be in the lineup. That’s true, but at the same time, your mind has to operate differently at different positions.”

Prado was an All-Star second baseman in his first year as a lineup regular in 2010, and the Braves moved the former utility man to left field after trading for Dan Uggla after the 2010 season.

He quickly developed into a quality defensive left fielder, while continuing to serve as a backup at third base and second base and occasionally at first base and shortstop – his least-proficient positions, but ones that he plays at least serviceably. His start at shortstop on Friday at San Francisco was only the fourth of his career, all this season.

Contrary to what some think, playing shortstop does not come easily just because someone excels at second and third base.

“Kind of a new thing for me,” Prado said. “You see everything. You see signs, everything. More action there. Everything in the gap, you go get. You [position] people….”

His flexibility makes manager Fredi Gonzalez’s job easier, because he can play Prado anywhere without being a liability or having it affect his hitting. Prado entered Wednesday batting .296 with 48 extra-base hits including a team-high 36 doubles, and his .326 average with runners in scoring position and two outs was second among Braves regulars behind Freddie Freeman (.339).

“That’s really nice to be able to [move Prado around],” said Gonzalez, who considers him a major asset in the National League, where lineup double-switches are so useful. “Anywhere you stick him, he does fine. Probably of all the positions, shortstop [would be last] if you rank them all. But he plays them above-average, all of them.”

Prado doesn’t consider himself a natural at shortstop, but scoffed when asked if he could excel there if he worked at the position.

“If I worked there? Yeah,” he said. “God gave me the chance to play in the major leagues. If God put me in this spot, it’s because I can do it. With Him, there’s nothing I can’t do. Whenever they told me to play left field, I worked on it. I wanted to be a left fielder. I didn’t want to be a [bad] one. I want to do my job, and the only way you can do your job is to prepare yourself for that position. And that’s what I did.

“I mean, I’m not great [in left], but I can play there.”

Before Prado did it last week against the Giants, the last Brave to start four consecutive games at different positions was Jerry Royster in 1984 (left field, second base, third base, shortstop).

“That tells you how valuable he is,” veteran Braves catcher David Ross said of Prado, who was voted the third-most underrated player in baseball in a Sports Illustrated survey of major leaguers, who couldn’t vote for their own teammates in the survey.

“He’s one of my favorite teammates. Doesn’t complain about anything. Valuable piece, man. I know that,” Ross said. “He’s a good teammate, wants to play every day and gives you a good at-bat. There’s not too many guys I want in there in a big situation more than Martin. He’s going to give you a tough out. And he runs the bases. He’s just a complete player. He’s a ballplayer.”

Bullpen strong down stretch

The Braves bullpen had begun a late-season fade by this time in 2011, but this season it had been at its best as the stretch drive began. That is until Wednesday, when relievers Chad Durbin and Jonny Venters were charged with two runs apiece in the four-run eighth inning in an 8-2 loss at San Diego in the road-trip finale.

Atlanta relievers allowed just three earned runs in 23-1/3 innings during the first nine games of the 10-game trip, and led the NL with a 1.85 ERA since the All-Star break.

Braves in Ariz. Fall League

Six Braves minor leaguers have been selected to play in the Arizona Fall League for the Phoenix Desert Dogs: right-handed pitchers Cory Rasmus and Zeke Spruill (Double-A Mississippi) and Gus Schlosser (high-A Lynchburg); catcher Matt Kennelly (Mississippi); shortstop Nick Ahmed (Lynchburg); and third baseman Edward Salcedo (Lynchburg)

68 comments Add your comment

David

August 29th, 2012
7:51 pm

Go Martin! Always a gamer

eddie57

August 29th, 2012
7:59 pm

Get Hanson out of there! Watching him on the mound is aggravating my stomach.

Ken Stallings

August 29th, 2012
8:09 pm

That innings angered me more than I have been angered before this year! The error between Janish and Chipper was understandable, but Hanson then just gave up on a play. His body language was clearly poor even when he stuck his bare hand out to catch the bunt. If he had caught it, then it would be possible he could have doubled off the runner at second. But, when he did not catch it, he should have had his body going to the ball not away from it and he should have made an immediate effort to field the ball and make the out at first.

But, Hanson did none of that. He just stood there and did nothing!

Ken Stallings

August 29th, 2012
8:09 pm

That innings angered me more than I have been angered before this year! The error between Janish and Chipper was understandable, but Hanson then just gave up on a play. His body language was clearly poor even when he stuck his bare hand out to catch the bunt. If he had caught it, then it would be possible he could have doubled off the runner at second. But, when he did not catch it, he should have had his body going to the ball not away from it and he should have made an immediate effort to field the ball and make the out at first.

But, Hanson did none of that. He just stood there and did nothing!

Semper Fi Braves fan

August 29th, 2012
8:10 pm

What does the housing market and Hanson have in common?

Their value drops daily.

Jfreak13713

August 29th, 2012
8:11 pm

Hanson is not a major league pitcher! We have a couple guys in the minors who are better or at least no worse than this guy. Hanson is going to cost the braves a playoff spot if they leave him in rotation. He is done!

Semper Fi Braves fan

August 29th, 2012
8:12 pm

Hanson is worthless, worst pitcher on the staff hands down. *Disclaimer* under the age of 40.

Ken Stallings

August 29th, 2012
8:12 pm

The AJC website is acting nuts! Bad links in the menu bar, and now you get a double post when you hit the button one time.

Jfreak13713

August 29th, 2012
8:14 pm

Nationals winning and Braves betting beat by sub .500 team! Thanks Hanson!

Semper Fi Braves fan

August 29th, 2012
8:14 pm

I agree, I would rather see Delgado or Tehran(sp?). Hanson and his agent Scott Boris should take their business elsewhere.

Ken Stallings

August 29th, 2012
8:15 pm

Prado complicated that same inning by cutting off an accurate throw to the plate and it seemed very clear that had Prado let the throw go through it would have nailed the runner trying to score. It was not scored an error either, but certainly factored into another run. The Braves are not playing solid baseball today.

Jfreak13713

August 29th, 2012
8:16 pm

Dan gonna come through? I feel a double to left coming!!

Jfreak13713

August 29th, 2012
8:16 pm

Correction, I see a strikeout!

Jfreak13713

August 29th, 2012
8:19 pm

Jfreak13713

August 29th, 2012
8:21 pm

Oh well I’m missing some kind of political convention that apparently is important so gonna check out!

Go Brave, (without Hanson)

Ken Stallings

August 29th, 2012
8:32 pm

David Ross made a great play at the plate! Caught the short hopped throw from Uggla and then made the tag to prevent another run from scoring.

BTW: cannot wait to see the new posting system adopted for the sports columnists. Just added a comment to the latest Lance Armstrong story and it allows edits of one’s comments! Perfect!

J-bone

August 29th, 2012
8:38 pm

Its time to demote Tommy “I cant pitch 5 innings” Hanson. He cant even be mad about it. He is hurting this team. Call up Delgado and give him another shot. At least he has some velocity.

Ken Stallings

August 29th, 2012
8:53 pm

At some point, if a starting pitcher is guaranteed to go only five innings, then he’s a liability even if he wins his starts. He’s a one-man bullpen killer. Hanson is a one-man bullpen killer! Frankly, I would send him to AAA and call Delgado back up. I hope Sheets recovers from his time on the DL to rest his shoulder. Because that will help the situation long term. But, I would replace Hanson with Delgado on his next scheduled start. Then, if Sheets regains his form, think about keeping Delgado as part of the expanded rosters.

Merrill Guice

August 29th, 2012
9:02 pm

Prado should got for the hat trick, put him in as Manager on Friday!

eddie57

August 29th, 2012
9:02 pm

You guys know that Fredi the Freeloader will just say that he will just keep running Hanson out there, trying to get him going.

ugafan13

August 29th, 2012
9:12 pm

Perfect collaspe completed…Venters has not been the same all year! Hanson needs to go period. He is only good for half the season or another way to look at it is one time through the batting order. Why can’t he watch how Medlen pitches and emulate that?

Oh'man

August 29th, 2012
9:22 pm

I am coming on here for a study break and all I want to say is, Tommy Hanson sucks! I have said it all year, trading him should be a number 1 priority for next season! He has NO fastball, probably the worst fastball in the majors! I hate watching him play, every time he plays I turn off the T.V. And what ever happen to Delgado? Our five starters should be Medlen number 1, Hudson number 2, Sheets number 3 (if he still plays like how he did in the beginning, if not then Delgado should replace him), Malholm number 4 and Minor as number 5. Hanson should be on waivers!

Oh'man

August 29th, 2012
9:23 pm

An oh yea, since its a Prado article. Martin Prado is our best player hands down!! Prado, Hudson and Medlen are my favorite Braves!

Larry

August 29th, 2012
9:25 pm

But wait a minute! According to LoboDumbDumb and PaulGoober Fredi is a great manager. So, if he wants to keep running “Mr. five or less Innings and four runs” out there every 5th day it makes perfect sense to them. How many games did Fredi throw away last July – September and again this year did Cox’s son blow running out he and JJ?

Seriously, if stupidity hurt they and Fredi would go through life on a morphine drip.

Larry

August 29th, 2012
9:27 pm

Prado is simply a professional hitter with a professional attitude.

cb795

August 29th, 2012
9:35 pm

Can’t wait for Fredi explanation on how will Hanson battled tonight. Game one started if they make the playoffs.

cb795

August 29th, 2012
9:35 pm

Can’t wait for Fredi explanation on how will Hanson battled tonight. Game one started if they make the playoffs.

bruce

August 29th, 2012
10:00 pm

Marteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!!

bruce

August 29th, 2012
10:07 pm

Martin paraphrases Jesus when Martin said: “If God put me in this spot, it’s because I can do it. With Him, there’s nothing I can’t do.”

In Matthew 19 verse 26 and Mark 10 verse 27 Jesus says:
“Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

http://bible.cc/matthew/19-26.htm
http://bible.cc/mark/10-27.htm

lee maye

August 29th, 2012
10:30 pm

Braves once had 2 valuable players who could play many positions: Prado and Infante. Then, one of the worst trades in history, at least Braves’ history, Infante and Dunn were traded for Uggla. Infante could play SS, 2B, 3B, and all 3 OF positions.

tjhook

August 29th, 2012
10:41 pm

Prado is my favorite player with honorable mention going to Tim Hudson and Jason Heyward

Michael

August 30th, 2012
12:02 am

Yes, but not by the management and not by a small portion of fans who wanted to trade him away………….

Hubie

August 30th, 2012
8:55 am

On Uggla. He needs to stop the knee jerk motions prior to the pitch. This definitely throws off his concentration on the pitch. Needs to move two inches closer to the plate and towards the pitcher two inches. Slow down his swing and try for base hits, not home runs. If he can’t do that, then there is no choice but to trade or release him. On Hanson. Watch his delivery. He goes into the windup, starts and then stops his forward thrust. Throws the ball with just his arm. No body push at all. Strange how the pitching coach has not caught that. It is clear that Fredi is not a major league manager. His pitching decisions and player decisions are not major league caliber. I am not a baseball player but I do see mistakes players and managers make. Wake up before it is too late.

bobby

August 30th, 2012
9:13 am

The Braves can’t hit a pitcher they have never seen before and they can’t hit one they have seen, so what’s left?

bobby

August 30th, 2012
9:13 am

The Braves can’t hit a pitcher they have never seen before and they can’t hit one they have seen, so what’s left?

bobby

August 30th, 2012
9:13 am

The Braves can’t hit a pitcher they have never seen before and they can’t hit one they have seen, so what’s left?

bobby

August 30th, 2012
9:15 am

This site is crazy this morning. I wonder if it will post this three times.

old brave, retired

August 30th, 2012
10:15 am

I was wondering how Edward Salcedo and his 40 errors make the Arizona Fall League? 40 errors!! Look for the Braves to go all the way. They have it all, except for Uggla.

[...] flight home to think about an opportunity wasted. Braves bats stayed qui more… Versatile Prado appreciated by Braves teammates, manager – blogs.ajc.com 08/29/2012 SAN DIEGO – After starting games at four different positions [...]

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

bball fan

August 30th, 2012
2:17 pm

David Ross should be the everyday catcher and McCann should be the backup.

Paul in Richmond

August 30th, 2012
2:20 pm

It bothers me that we dilute the talent of Prado while protecting the weaknesses of others. We all know Jones would collapse if he had to play another position or bat at a different spot (unprotected) in the order. Yet we shuffle Prado around from position to position, from batting spot to batting spot and we dont think that affects him????

We could have much more out of Prado if we left him in a regular position and let him grow.

Bobby's Cox

August 30th, 2012
3:00 pm

So true Paul. I hope they compensate Matin for all this. Best case scenario would be to trade Uggla & a portion of his salary, lock up Prado for 2B, then use the abundance of cash we’ll have this offseason, & abundance of pitching, to get a LF’er we haven’t had in years, a CF’er, and a serviceable 3B to platoon with Francisco next year.

BravesBanter31

August 30th, 2012
5:50 pm

BRAVES fans on TWITTER: Please add @BravesBanter31 for Braves rumors, commentary, news, and tips when attending Turner Field! Don’t Stop the Chop!!!

Backdoor Slider

August 30th, 2012
6:57 pm

A PLEA ABOUT AJC ADVERTISING

DOB, I really wish the AJC wouldn’t put advertising for Cheetah on your web site. I hate seeing these ads day after day.

Surely you can find other advertisers to support Braves baseball.

Does anyone else out there feel the same way?

Mikey

August 30th, 2012
7:32 pm

Never noticed the ads, but thanks for pointing that info out.

One Big Dummy

August 30th, 2012
10:50 pm

WHAT DID YOU SAY?! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!

ylojkt

August 31st, 2012
12:30 am

Backdoor Slider, you may want to consider finding an ad blocking program for your browser, this way you won’t see the ads at all. Sadly, this ad is blocked for me, but is relevant to my interests. Not so sadly, BS, if I may be so bold, that I miss all of the ads, even the ones I wouldn’t mind seeing.
Also, Backdoor Slider would make an awesome band name. I would also like to try a Backdoor Slider at The Cheetah, if there were such a thing.

What happened to Simmons?

August 31st, 2012
10:19 am

Why haven’t the Brave’s said anything about Simmons progress from his finger injury?…….COVER-UP!

Trade to Dodgers

August 31st, 2012
10:22 am

It looks like the only way they can get rid of Uggla is trading him to the Dodgers by throwing in Venters and hopefully Hanson!

James E. Miller

August 31st, 2012
5:11 pm

Live in Houston, Braves fan/supporter since ‘70. I have seen some bad teams and some real bad teams. I follow about 130 games per year, as a loyal fan I watched and predicted in late August
2011, when the Braves lost a three game series to St. Louis with a nine game wild card lead. If the Braves continue to run Hanson out to pitch they will not may the playoff this year. I believe Hanson
and Uggla should be traded for a third baseman/leftfielder.

louis vuitton yahoo

September 24th, 2013
8:51 am

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