SAN DIEGO -- When Martin Prado started at four different positions during the just-completed four-game series in San Francisco, it was much more than just a novelty act. The value of his versatility is strengthened by the fact that the Braves are confident he can capably handle himself defensively at each of these positions.
"That is never a concern," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You feel good with him in the infield and he's worked hard to make himself a good outfielder. He has not played a lot of shortstop, but you do not worry when he's there. He's a real asset."
Prado started in left field during Thursday night's opener against the Giants and then spent the next three games positioned at either shortstop, third base or second base. This marked a first for a Braves player since Jerry Royster started at four different positions from Aug. 10-14, 1984.
"It doesn't matter to me," Prado said. "This year, I'm just enjoying myself, trying to be a good teammate, working hard and trying not to complain. I'm happy with where I'm at. I feel blessed that I can do a lot of things to help the team win."
Prado has made the majority of his starts (99) this year in left field. He has made 20 starts at third base and six more at second base, the position he played when he was selected to play in the 2010 All-Star Game. Four months later, he learned he was moving to left field to accommodate Dan Uggla, who had been acquired from the Marlins.
With Uggla struggling to escape a slump that has followed him for nearly three months, there might be even more opportunities for Prado to play second base during the remainder of the season. He said he will not be opposed to playing a variety of positions as long as he remains in the lineup on a daily basis. He started 123 of Atlanta's first 129 games.
"It's easiest for me to just be ready to play anything in the game," Prado said.
Familiar prospects will be September callups
SAN DIEGO -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said there will not be any surprises among the players the Braves add once rosters are expanded in September.
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons will be among those added once he is cleared to begin playing for the first time since he fractured his right pinkie finger on July 8. Because the Minor League season will conclude on Sept. 3, Simmons will likely play in some playoff games during his rehab stint. Class A Advanced Lynchburg and Class A Rome could both be in the playoffs.
Speedy outfielder Jose Constanza and backup catcher J.C. Boscan are expected to be among the position players. If Jack Wilson is healthy, he also could be among the additions. Wilson has been sidelined since dislocating his right pinkie finger on July 13.
Gonzalez said he will likely add two or three pitchers. Relievers Cory Gearrin and Anthony Varvaro are definite candidates. There is also a chance the Braves could promote both of their top two pitching prospects, Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran. Delgado made 17 starts for Atlanta before being sent to Triple-A Gwinnett just after the All-Star break. Still regarded by many as one of the game's elite pitching prospects, the 21-year-old Teheran has posted a 5.60 ERA in 25 starts for Gwinnett.
The Padres celebrated Chipper Jones' final visit to San Diego with an on-field tribute just before the start of Monday night's game. Former closer Trevor Hoffman participated in the ceremony, which featured Jones receiving a personalized surfboard.
David Justice, a member of the Braves' Hall of Fame, stopped by the clubhouse before Monday night's series opener against the Padres. Justice lives just outside of the San Diego area.
Pat Kelly, who served as the Braves' Triple-A manager from 2003-05, was in attendance for Monday night's game to see his son, Casey Kelly, make his Major League debut. The elder Kelly took time to renew acquaintances with some of the Braves during batting practice.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.