The reasons for the lefthanded-hitting Canadian making the team are more evident than those for Bernero, but he doesn’t look a whole lot more qualified to me. Orr’s career minor league line is .265/.317/.340. Last year he hit .320, which garnered him a lot of attention, but it was one of the weakest .320s you’d ever see. In 460 AB, he hit only one homer. He walked only 20 times, putting up a .349 OBP. He slugged .404 because he had 16 doubles and 10 triples, but even that’s not that impressive and is more of a tribute to his legs than his bat.
Orr made the team because of the trade of Nick Green, but it’s clear that the Braves wanted to give him every chance. He played the most games and had the most at-bats of any Braves player this spring, hitting .254; he’s a lot more likely to hit .254 than .320 on the major league level. I assume that he’ll be used to backup Giles at second and as a pinch-runner, with Betemit backing up at third, and short depending upon the situation (Betemit if they’re behind, Orr if they’re ahead). He has to be a better shortstop than Betemit, but that’s not hard. Orr can also play the outfield and serves as the Braves’ fifth outfielder, but if he’s getting any significant playing time out there they’re in big trouble.
If Orr lasts the season — well, I’d be surprised, but if he does — I’ll guess that he’ll play 80-90 games but only about that many ABs, most of his games serving as a pinch-runner for the first baseman or catcher, a few starts coming when Giles is hurt, plus some PT late in blowouts. Nick Green is a slightly better player because he has more power, but the difference isn’t that great and is unlikely to matter one way or the other. If Orr were really a .300 hitter, he’d be a useful pinch-hitter in the mode of Lockhart in his better years. His low walk totals and nonexistent home run power mean that he’s not going to be a regular for any significant time. He’ll be a crowd favorite without actually pushing the Braves to a championship.