Simmons' Classic experience extended

TAMPA, Fla. -- When the Kingdom of the Netherlands won their World Baseball Classic game Monday, the Braves lost their shortstop for a few more days. Andrelton Simmons remains AWL -- away with leave. No problem, says manager Fredi Gonzalez. The Braves would prefer to have their 23-year-old shortstop/leadoff man with them.

But Gonzalez says he is comfortable without him.

"He's playing, he's getting his at-bats, so it's all right," the manager said Tuesday before the Braves played the Yankees here. "He'll be back with us and have enough time [after the Classic, no matter how many games the Kingdom of the Netherlands plays]."

The Braves brought almost all of their regulars to Tampa. They had no game Wednesday and don't play again until Thursday night at home against the Tigers. Tyler Pastornicky, the Opening Day shortstop last season. started at shortstop Tuesday and will get most of the innings there until Simmons returns.

Marty Noble is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.