Braves Scouting Report

BOB ELLIOTT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Atlanta Braves have a battle going on, they're only a couple short for a Battle Royal.

At stake is the starting second baseman's job after Marcus Giles was non tendered.

Now they line up in groups when it comes time to take infield. Kelly Johnson is the favourite, despite missing all 2006 with an elbow injury. The former outfielder would bat lead off, as he did yesterday, if he wins the job. He has not played a game at second in the majors.

Johnson hit .241 with nine homers and 40 RBIs in 87 games as an outfielder in 2005.

Defence should not be a problem for Johnson as he is a natural shortstop. Martin Prado, who began 2006 at double-A Mississippi and finished at triple-A Richmond also will contend.

Braves coach Glenn Hubbard, former Atlanta second baseman, has compared Prado's hand to a young Omar Vizquel. Prado batted .262 with one homer and nine RBIs in 24 games with the Braves.

Former Jays infielder Chris Woodward was signed as a free agent. He has not played in more than 100 games since 2003 with the Jays.

Then there is Newmarket's Peter Orr, who can play everywhere but first in the infield and fill in the outfield.

"Pete's given us two real good years," manager Bobby Cox said. Orr hit .253 with one homer and eight RBIs in 102 games in 2006.


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