The Atlanta Braves are sending struggling shortstop Tyler Pastornicky down to Triple-A Gwinnett, according to multiple reports following the club's 10-7 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday night. Top-prospect Andrelton Simmons will take his spot on the roster and is expected to join the team in time for Friday's series opener with the Nationals. He will wear No. 19.
Pastornicky was hitting well at the beginning of the year, but he has struggled mightily in recent weeks. He has hit just .239 in the last 30 days with an OPS of .537. Combine these issues with his poor play in the field and it seemed like a change was inevitable in Atlanta.
Simmons is already an elite defender -- a scout said his arm and glove were both '80' on the 20-80 scale -- and is hitting well with the Mississippi Braves, the Double-A affiliate of the organization. Simmons has hit .292 this season with an OPS of .794. He won the batting title with the Lynchburg Hillcats last season.
More to come soon, but this is big news for the Braves. It appears their shortstop of the future has arrived.
UPDATE, 10:40 p.m.
Andrelton Simmons' contract has been purchased by the Braves.
Roster Move: T. Pastornicky has been optioned to Gwinnett. The contract of A. Simmons has been purchased from Mississippi, will wear #19.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 31, 2012
For more on the Braves, check out Talking Chop.