Pastornicky adjusting to call-ups, second base

Tyler Pastornicky had just finished taking his first round of batting practice, preparing to play his first game of the season in left field for Triple-A Gwinnett Tuesday when he was told to pack up and head for Atlanta.

The Braves needed him to start at second base in place of Dan Uggla, who had been placed on the disabled list to undergo laser eye surgery.

“I tried to get in the car and hustle down here to beat some of that traffic,” Pastornicky said. “Luckily I got down here pretty quick, probably about 35, 40 minutes.”

The fifth call-up of his career and third of this season was a lot simpler than the previous one June 18 when he got a call at about 2:30 a.m. in his Buffalo, N.Y. hotel room. Evan Gattis had injured his oblique during a rain-delayed game that ended at about 1:22 a.m. After catching a 6 a.m. flight, Pastornicky had to come off the bench to face Mets ace Matt Harvey in a pinch hit at-bat (he grounded out).

Tuesday night, Pastornicky was starting at second base, a position where he’s felt the most comfortable this season. After Pastornicky broke camp with the Braves last spring as their starting shortstop, he struggled defensively and the Braves sent him to Gwinnett with the idea of converting him into a utility player. Pastornicky played three games in center field this year in Triple-A, one at third base, eight at shortstop and 59 at second base.

“I’ve taken a real liking to second,” Pastornicky said. “I feel like it’s probably my best position. I just feel a lot more comfortable there. Everything that I’ve gone through so far, the turns have gone smooth. It’s been a pretty good transition.”

Pastornicky will have familiar feeds around the second base bag too from Paul Janish, his shortstop combo for much of the year in Triple-A, who is getting his first start of the season for Atlanta at shortstop.

Pastornicky caught a line drive in the first inning Tuesday night against the Phillies and singled in his first at-bat.

“(Good to) come in here, get to play and get the nerves out of the way,” Pastornicky said. “It helps when you get a ball in the first inning and then you get a hit your first at-bat. That definitely takes (off) a lot of the pressure, makes you comfortable. That’s the key is when you’re comfortable you can play your own game.”