Braves release former starting shortstop Pastornicky

Braves release former starting shortstop Pastornicky

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Braves raised some eyebrows when they opted to give Tyler Pastornicky a chance to begin the 2012 season as their starting shortstop. But there was not much reason for surprise when they opted to release him on Thursday.

Pastornicky's value has plummeted over the past three years, as indicated when he was not claimed off waivers after the Braves removed him from their 40-man roster in January. The 25-year-old then had to face the harsh reality that he did not even receive an invite to be a part of Atlanta's Major League camp this year.

A National League scout who recently evaluated Pastornicky said that he appeared to be pouting while going through drills in Minor League camp.

Pastornicky lost his role as Atlanta's starting shortstop when Andrelton Simmons was deemed Major League ready just two months into the 2012 season. He spent most of the past two seasons with Triple-A Gwinnett.

The Braves were hoping Pastornicky would develop into a serviceable utilty man and in fact, they called him up to serve as their starting second baseman when Dan Uggla was placed on the disabled list in August 2013. But two days into this role, Pastornicky tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a collision in shallow right field with Jason Heyward.

Pastornicky hit .290 with a .676 OPS in 47 games with Gwinnett last year. But the knee injury seemed to affect his range and speed, which was once considered one of his best intangibles.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.