Shortstop -- make that infielder-outfielder -- Tyler Pastornicky has been out in the outfield catching batted balls after taking some hacks in the cage before batting practice for the Atlanta Braves.
Pastornicky will likely be optioned back to Class AAA Gwinnett once shortstop Jack Wilson comes off the disabled iist; he's eligible to come off on July 29 but first will be playing some rehab games with the G-Braves to test his dislocated right little finger.
Wilson has zero offense. He hasn't even been a reliable bunter lately. And he has been uncharacteristically uneven defensively, probably because he has gotten so few starts: 14. When he does start, he appears to be rushing everything, so eager is he to impress manager Fredi Gonzalez and get more playing time. But the Braves want to turn Pastornicky into a utiiity man, and having him play shortstop for the Braves every day would set back that plan.
Not to mention that it's already been made clear that shortstop is not his best position.
The organization seems to be searching for his best position because they like his offense. He's been playing second base since his demotion to Class AAA on May 31 in favor of shortstop Andrelton Simmons, on the disabled list with a fractured right small finger.
Pastornicky, though, is batting only .252. Even in spring training it was obvious that his stress over being awarded the starting position was affecting his at-bats. It never got much better. Transforming him into a multi-position player who still hits, then would seem to be an all-season project. At least.
In the meantime, while he's on the Braves' roster, Gonzalez says he may see some playing time in left field.
"We're not going to ask him to win a Gold Glove out there," Gonzalez says. A good thing.
Pastornicky didn't get in to Thursday's 3-2 win over the Giants. He did single as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth in Tuesday's 9-0 loss and drew an intentional walk when he pinch-hit in the bottom of the ninth in Wednesday's 9-4, 11-inning loss.