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  1. Agreed totally.

    Comment by Alex Remington — June 1, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

  2. If Pastornicky wasn’t ready, why couldn’t they sign someone like Bill Hall, who has had some success at the ML level and experience at shortstop? He signed a minor league deal this offseason, was released, and signed another minor league deal and has been up and down since. He wouldn’t have blocked anyone, wouldn’t have required multiple years, and would have been cheap.

    Comment by Piccamo — June 1, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

  3. Bill Hall at 2B *might* be half-decent, but Bill Hall at SS would not seem like a good idea at all.

    Comment by harperhill — June 1, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

  4. I don’t think it’s fair to say that Pastornicky “wasn’t ready”. I do think it’s fair to say he wasn’t ready to be the everday SS for a team with World Series hopes, but to me that’s a different level than Major League ready. He would be a fine starting SS in a market where the team isn’t expected to compete this year, and he could learn while getting everyday ABs at the major league level. But the Braves are not currently a team in that situation.

    Additionally, while it’s now established that he wasn’t ready to contribute at that high of a level, it was certainly not a sure thing that he wasn’t prior to the season, and worth it to the Atlanta front office to give him a 2 month trial period to find out how could he could be at the major league level. I’d say there was at least a 20% chance going into the season that he could exceed expectations and stick in Atlanta for the entire season. But that 1/5 chance didn’t materialize, and the player who is replacing him (Simmons) performed at what is likely his top 20% expectation in AA. With those factors combining, it’s obvious why Atlanta is making the choice they are at this time, but the process that went into these decisions should not be viewed as flawed simply due to the results.

    Comment by harpago17 — June 1, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

  5. I’m not sure Patornicky will ever be a starting SS for a contender. Defense tends to peak earlier in a career, so this might actually be the best Rev has to offer defensively. I suspect the Braves will look to make him a 2b or utility guy and hope the bat improves enough to play there.

    I have a feeling the Braves pitchers are about to get “hot” and, I don’t know, “get in a groove” for the rest of the season. Maybe Minor’s strand rate will even go above 50%.

    Comment by Brent — June 1, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

  6. I bet pastornicky could play better 2b defense than Dan Uggla. With Chipper’s retirement, I would imagine that Martin Prado is the 3b heir. Uggla to LF, Pastornicky to 2b? I don’t think it is too late for Pastornicky to prove he can start at the big league level. He is only 22!

    Just a thought.

    Comment by Andy Braves Fan — June 1, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

  7. Down the line, Pastro is the Brave’s next Omar Infante. Super utility, will hit for high average a few years in his career, gap power, etc.

    Comment by Andrew — June 1, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

  8. I would equate shortstop defense with being a rookie NFL running back — the necessary skills, while perhaps not refined, are apparent at the outset. While it seems as though Pastornicky’s defensive troubles may have gone to his head, I didn’t see the athletic tools necessary to become a top-flight SS. Andrelton, by acclamation, appears to have those tools.

    But Pastornicky was higher on the development ladder, and since Simmons didn’t win the job outright in spring training the correct call was made. The entire chain of events is consistent with a belief that the Braves viewed Simmons as the long-term answer, and while I wouldn’t have wished Pastornicky’s struggles on him, I believe it may have worked out for the best.

    Comment by sansho1 — June 1, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

  9. Yeah that’d be a fantastic infield defensive alignment. It’s been discussed in Braves circles a bit, but a lot depends on Bourn’s contract status and whether or not the team can afford to carry both Simmons and Pastor’s bat in the lineup.

    Comment by Luke M. — June 1, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

  10. Thanks, Mike.

    Comment by RMD — June 1, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

  11. I just feel bad for Pastornicky. Since it’s basically Simmons’ job, at this point, he’s not going to displace him. The Braves are unlikely to move Dan Uggla off of second base. This was probably his only chance to win a starting job within the organization, probably, and it happened because he was rushed into it. He’d need to hit like crazy to end up with another full time opportunity to start somewhere.

    Comment by Bronnt — June 1, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  12. I read a tweet from Dave O’Brien just now (quoting Frank Wren) that the Braves will try Pastornicky at 2nd, SS and even the outfield while at AAA.
    I think he just needs time (like most 22 year olds) to develop his skills, and we will see in the majors again, though probably not until 2013.

    Comment by Bob — June 1, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

  13. Pastornicky was given an opportunity. Unfortunately, he was not
    ready, his youth and inexperience being the biggest handicaps.
    I believe that if he returns to the minors with an open mind and
    an attitude to learn and gain experience, he’ll be ready next time.
    There have been numerous more talented minor league players
    blocked by such stars as Cal Ripken, Jr., Brooks Robinson,
    Bob Gibson, etc., that did not receive or were given an opportunity
    late in their careers. At least Pastornicky received an opportunity,
    and hopefully he positively acknowledges it, and returns to the
    minors bent on improving. I have a feeling that the next time
    he returns to a pennant contender, he just might make a

    Comment by Juan Chapa — June 1, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

  14. I think the best anyone can hope for out of Pastornicky is a league average bat and above average defense at 2nd base. He doesnt have a future at short, and i dont see his hitting developing to anything extraordinary. If the Braves are forced to move Uggla to LF at some point, then Pastornicky reaches the major with the Braves again…other than that, I think he is going to be a Sept callup or addon in a trade until his time with the Braves runs out.

    Comment by Brian — June 1, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

  15. Well, you’ll get no argument from me on that. It sorta feels like the Braves starting pitchers are really about to flip the switch and get mentally locked in, I think that’s probably going to be a result of feeling better about their stuff and just going out there and playing baseball.

    Comment by Chip Caray — June 1, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

  16. Thanks Alex. Considering you are a very smart man, that means a lot.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 1, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

  17. Sound thought process. I like it!

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 1, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

  18. Projection for Pastornicky has always been 2nd division starter/super utility role. Your opinion is in the majority.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 1, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

  19. My perception if that 2B requires more offense than SS on the whole so simply sliding Pastornicky over to second and saying the position switch makes up for any defensive shortcomings at SS may not take into account the added offense needed to really profile as a strong 2B.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 1, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

  20. The Braves…and Pastornicky…would likely be thrilled with that outcome.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 1, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

  21. You are money and you don’t even know it.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 1, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

  22. You’re welcome…but I’m not sure what you are thanking me for.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 1, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

  23. I thought the piece was going to mesh with your thinking, but I wound up going off on a tangent. Go figure!

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 1, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

  24. Makes perfect sense. Why not try to add value by having him play all over the diamond considering the org. has Simmons and another pretty good SS named Ahmed in the pipeline.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 1, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

  25. This response is a bit too forgiving for me. I agree that Pastornicky was not ready to truly contribute, but with a projection of utility/2nd division starter, that ceiling is over time, not immediate.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 1, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

  26. You described a pretty darn good big leaguer. Above avg. defense and avg. offense is a combination most teams would be thrilled with.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 1, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

  27. With the rumor of Castro being on the block. If you’re moving Uggla to LF freeing up for a better fielding 2B, how about signing Castro and moving him to 2B? Castro is also only 22, is an average fielding SS (so my intuition tells me he’d be above average 2B but I could be wrong) and Castro’s bat would make him one of the better hitting 2B in the game.

    What’s with the moving Uggla to LF? Is that a fairly common thought or is it more of a hypothetical fan-driven thing?

    Comment by Antonio Banana — June 2, 2012 @ 12:00 am

  28. I know it’s going to get laughed at but watching Pastornicky I like the way he plays. He seemed to have good ab. However, the stats just aren’t there. He seems like he’d be a pretty good utility guy to have on the bench. Right now he’ll make a fine fringe 40 man but not MLB guy to get called up during injuries.

    I like the Omar Infante comp. I think when most people use it, they mean how Infante was before he got everyday playing time. That’s probably still lofty.

    Comment by Antonio Banana — June 2, 2012 @ 12:03 am

  29. I think it’d be fantastic if he could play the 4-9 positions on the diamond. Or at least LF since I don’t think his arm is good enough for RF and he’s not athletic enough for CF.

    Is it just me or have the Braves drafted a lot of athletic guys who play SS and then move them off SS if they aren’t highly talented there. For example, Lipka I believe has been moved to the OF and their 3B prospect who’s name escapes me right now I believe also used to be a SS. Now you have Pastornicky being a MIF/OF utility type of guy. Seems like a fairly cost effective way to have a rangy defense without trying to specifically draft 1 rangy CF, 1 rangy 3B, 1 rangy SS, etc.

    Comment by Antonio Banana — June 2, 2012 @ 12:08 am

  30. Was his defense really as bad as his UZR makes him look? I could be wrong, but I thought he was known as a decent defensive shortstop. Were those numbers fluky, or did he really play that bad?

    Comment by Pacoheadley — June 2, 2012 @ 12:08 am

  31. The 3B who’s name escapes is the young power-hitting Edward Salcedo.

    Comment by Josh — June 2, 2012 @ 12:27 am

  32. Yes, he was that bad. Weak arm, terribly weak. No skills around the bag, and the range of a 14 year old cat.

    Comment by Josh — June 2, 2012 @ 12:29 am

  33. Way to be on point with the responses, Mike Newman. I enjoyed your article. I agree that this isn’t the last we see of Tyler Pastornicky.

    Comment by nolan — June 2, 2012 @ 2:20 am

  34. His defense was not acceptable at shortstop. He was a typical second baseman playing short.

    Comment by Phantom Stranger — June 2, 2012 @ 2:43 am

  35. The escobar trade is the gift that keeps on giving. thank you so much bobby cox for that wonderful retirement gift. Thank the lord that we took the necessary steps to clear the club house of the 4 WAR team cancer with the team friendly contract


    Comment by dc — June 2, 2012 @ 6:20 am

  36. Antonio Banana,

    Nothing wrong with liking Pastornicky. He’s a nice little player who should have a long career in some capacity.

    Castro would be a nice fit with a number of teams, the asking price would be awfully high. To be honest, I’m not sure the Braves have the prospects in the system right now to make a deal for Castro happen without really gutting things.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 2, 2012 @ 7:51 am

  37. Antonio Banana,

    Prospects moving off of SS is not unique to the Braves. Most SS prospects wind up moving off the position in the end. As for the Braves, they have invested significant resources in terms of IFA/top-3 round picks on up-the-middle INF prospects. Todd Cunningham was a 2B who was drafted early and then moved to the OF as well.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 2, 2012 @ 8:03 am

  38. I get the sarcasm, but there are too many variables involved with Escobar. There’s more to the story than what was reported – or so I’ve been told.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 2, 2012 @ 8:09 am

  39. Happy to see so many thoughtful comments. I’m always happy to engage in great discussion.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 2, 2012 @ 8:10 am

  40. Pastornicky has limited range and arm strength, but I consider him to be sure-handed on routine plays. I had a conversation with a scout recently about lowering expectations some for prospects considering there simply aren’t 30 legit starting SS’s in MLB right now. With offense at a premium, the bar for “average starter” has dropped.

    Comment by Mike Newman — June 2, 2012 @ 8:15 am

  41. Bobby was a players manager to the core, and by all accounts I’ve heard and read the players hated him, thus bobby had no use for him either.

    Comment by brandon — June 2, 2012 @ 10:33 am

  42. That’s too revisionist. Escobar wasn’t anything special in the minors, came up at a higher age, and he was only average for a year. Then a year and a half long power spike turned him into a premier player. He’d been awful for the first half if the season and anybody who doubted that Escobar would really settle in as more than an above average player was entirely reasonable. You don’t put up with the kind of stuff he was apparently bringing to the club house for just above average.

    Comment by deadpool — June 2, 2012 @ 11:10 am

  43. From what I saw of Pastornicky and from looking at his numbers I would compare him to Yuniesky Betancourt. Statue like range, poor hands, and would rather be set on fire than take a walk.

    What do you think the ETA is on Pastornicky becoming a Royal?

    Comment by thebravestway — June 2, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

  44. Yunel was tanking, and being a moody prick while doing so. Nobody has to like his manager, but everyone has to play hard.

    Comment by sansho1 — June 3, 2012 @ 11:13 am

  45. The other comments on his defense are correct, and I think it got to his head, because at the end, he started making bad mental mistakes like booting routine grounders and throwing to the wrong base multiple times. I think he has a great future as a utility guy or a second division starter as others have said.

    Comment by cavebird — June 3, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

  46. Simmons pretty much had the SS job wrapped up towards the end of Spring Training. Even though he didn’t have a single AB above A ball he impressed enough of the right people he was ready.

    He then suffered an injury and was shut down. He started this year on the DL in AA. He had some time to make up and play his way back into shape. As he made up for lost time with the glove and was getting good abs against AA pitching Bruce Manno was getting nice reports on Simmons.

    As the reports were getting better and more frequent a decision was made to promote him to Atlanta. The decision was based more on well Simmons was handling himself than on how Pastornicky was not. This decision was made purely because Simmons is a far superior player and his time was now. That is not a knock on Pastornicky.

    Comment by Billy James — June 9, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

  47. The assumption that Yunel would still be producing in ATL is bogus. He wasn’t. Believe it or not, moods do change your level of play. If he was unhappy and the boys didn’t like him either, I can see him playing worse. Not only that, but perhaps he got a fire lit under his ass when he got traded and started playing and training harder because of the trade.

    Don’t act like the Braves were stupid for trading him. He wasn’t doing anything for them. I’m happy that he has been good for the Blue Jays. I love watching them. I just think it’s ridiculous to assume he would have been as productive in ATL.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — June 10, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

  48. If ATL doesn’t have the prospects for Castro, then who does? Seattle, Texas, Toronto, and St. Louis? Texas has 2 SS, one that is better than Castro and one that has a great shot at it. Seattle won’t trade prospets for a SS. St. Louis actually needs their prospects probably more than ATL needs theirs (Carp, Berk, and Beltran likely leaving soon and being replaced by Miller, Adams, and Taveras, without them they will suck).

    Most teams will be gutted if they trade what Chicago probably wants. When I look at Chicago, they needed pitching. They drafted a boatload of pitchers, so it seems like they feel the same way. ATL definately has the pitching prospects, and the ML-ready prospects to pull off a trade. I agree though that it isn’t a good fit for ATL though because of JJ and Hudson likely either not being around much longer and/or not being very good much longer. However, if any team can magically churn out more elite pitching prospects, it’s ATL. Best case scenario for a realistic trade, Teheran/Gilmartin/Simmons for Castro, Braves let Bourn walk and get a great SP with that comp, Delgado gets really good.

    Not gonna happen though, besides, I value Simmons’ glove.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — June 10, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

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