To get a chance to show he can be a good bat on the Braves’ bench, Tyler Pastornicky is going to have to show he can be solid defensively somewhere on the field.
His ability to play second base and in the outfield figures to go a long way in determining whether Pastornicky, 23, starts the season in Atlanta.
“I think that’s something that everyone knows (is) I can hit, I’ve just got to go out there and be consistent with it,” he said. “A big part (of spring) is becoming more consistent defensively and play every position they need and play them at a high level. Make the routine plays at a whole bunch of different positions and try to make myself valuable that way.”
That’s Pastornicky’s best way to make the big-league club to start this season. He won the shortstop job last spring but was sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett after struggling through May. He was behind Andrelton Simmons by the time he made it back to Atlanta.
Pastornicky’s bat came to life against the Phillies on Thursday with two hits and four RBI, including a three-run home run. That gave him five RBI in 12 at-bats, tied for seventh in the Grapefruit League before Friday’s games.
But Pastornicky has been shaky in the field at times.
“I am still working on defense and still trying to get better there as I move around position-wise,” he said. “But I am feeling good at the plate swinging the bat.”
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