Braves Rookie Steps Into Big Role

By Christine Roy — 03/07/12
Tyler Pastornicky has a new job. This year he’ll be the Atlanta Braves starting shortstop. Coming into Spring Training as a rookie can be overwhelming. Add that to the Braves September collapse last year and you’ve got a pressure-filled situation. The team let a nine and a half game lead in the National League Wild Card race slip through its fingers. In order to rebound, the Braves need a solid contribution from Pastornicky. But he isn’t letting such high expectations get the best of him.
“A lot of people might take it as being a pressure situation, but I’m having fun with it,” Pastornicky said. “I go out there and I don’t think it gets much better than that.”
It’s that kind of attitude that will help him when he makes his first Major League start in April. But if he needs an added boost, he can look to his left and right. That’s because he’s in between veteran second baseman Dan Uggla and seven-time All Star third baseman Chipper Jones.
“To play with those guys and learn from them is the best thing for me,” Pastornicky said.
Pastornicky knows the Braves are relying on him to help them move forward. This season he said he’s going to do whatever it takes to make that happen.
“I’m just going to go out there, have fun, play hard,” Pastornicky said. “Anything I can do to help the team win is what I’m going to do.”