LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Most of the Braves' position players were in camp by Wednesday, one day ahead of their required report date. But manager Fredi Gonzalez made a point to say he wasn't happy that he hadn't yet seen Florida residents Jordan Schafer or Tyler Pastornicky, who will each come to camp trying to win a backup job.
Schafer, who lives approximately 30 minutes from the Braves' Spring Training complex, was claimed after the Astros placed him on waivers in November. Once Atlanta's top prospect, Schafer will likely battle with Jose Constanza for one of the final outfield spots.
"Schafer is probably having a tough time with his travel," Gonzalez said jokingly. "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."
When Pastornicky was the odds-on favorite to begin the 2012 season as Atlanta's starting shortstop, he arrived the day the Braves were staging their first full-squad workout. In his defense, he had spent the days leading up to camp working out with Jack Wilson in California.
But Gonzalez certainly has not overlooked the fact this is the second straight year Pastornicky has not been among the team's early arrivals. Pastornicky lives about two hours from the Braves' Spring Training complex.
"I think Pastornicky is going to hold out again this year," Gonzalez said. "I want to see what his excuse is."
Reed Johnson, who will begin the season as the Braves' fourth outfielder, arrived in camp in time to take batting practice with the starting outfielders -- Jason Heyward, B.J. Upton and Justin Upton -- on Wednesday. Johnson and his family drove 30-plus hours from his home in the Las Vegas area.