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.