Arriving to Spring Training at least a day or two early has essentially become the culture in the Major Leagues, particularly with the Atlanta Braves. So when Jordan Schafer and Tyler Pastornicky hadn't arrived on Wednesday with the Braves starting full squad workouts Thursday, manager Fredi Gonzalez made sure he used the media to voice his displeasure.
In an unusual move for the Braves, Gonzalez jokingly made remarks on Schafer's travel issues, since he lives about 30 minutes away from the Braves' Spring Training site. Schafer was previously the Braves' top prospect, but he is expected to battle with Jose Constanza for a bench spot after being claimed off waivers from the Houston Astros.
"Schafer is probably having a tough time with his travel," Gonzalez said on braves.com. "He's another one I'm going to grab. He only lives two exits up the road and I haven't seen him yet. But maybe he has a five-year deal with [general manager] Frank [Wren] that guarantees he will play center. Frank hasn't told me that Schafer has signed for five years and is guaranteed to get one of the three outfield spots."
Pastornicky also didn't report to camp until the first day of workouts in 2012, when he was expected to win the stating shortstop position. In fairness, he spent several days working out with Jack Wilson in the days leading up to camp,but Pastornicky also only lives about two hours away.
"I think Pastornicky is going to hold out again this year," Gonzalez said. "I want to see what his excuse is."
Braves.com also notes that Reed Johnson, who will be the team's fourth outfielder, arrived Wednesday with his family after a 30-hour drive from his Las Vegas home.
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