Braves Shortstop Andrelton Simmons to Make His MLB Debut Friday Night

The Braves decided to option young shortstop Tyler Pastornicky to triple-A Gwinnett Wednesday after a mediocre offensive showing through the first two months of the season. Tyler had a .248 average with onehome run, and a .948 fielding percentage with seven errors on the year.

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In his place, Atlanta will debut double-A prospect Andrelton Simmons who will get the start atshort Friday night in Washington against the first-place Nationals . The 23 year old Curacao native has hit .292 with three homers and four fielding errors at Mississippi this season.

In regards to Pastornicky’s defensive performance to date Braves General Manager Frank Wren simply said “We needed more,” but he had plenty to say about Simmons when speaking to David O’Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.

“He has special talents [at shortstop]. Once the reports started coming in so glowingly that he was handling that [Double-A] level so well, we started at least giving it some thought as to when would be theright time, and we continued to call this week and everyone in player development that [assistant GM] Bruce [Manno] talked to said he’s ready.”

Simmons joins other notable Braves youngsters from the islandof Curacao including Andruw Jones and Jair Jurrjens . Simmons will debut as Stephen Strasburg (5-1) squares off against Mike Minor (2-4) at Nationals Park on Friday night. Game time is set for 7:05 pm.

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