The 37-year-old veteran slugger, Jose Bautista, was released by the Braves organization on Sunday according to MLB.com. Atlanta Braves Vice President, Alex Anthopoulos, said the team will look for Johan Camargo to take Jose’s place as starting third baseman.
The Braves’ move to release Bautista comes as no surprise to Braves Country, despite his time with the organization beginning only 12 games ago. Through 40 plate appearances, Bautista hit .143 with 12 strikeouts, two home runs and five RBI. His steady decline at the plate through the past three seasons didn’t prove to be any different in for him in the Braves’ jersey.
Having struggled to find a job in the spring, former Blue Jays General Manager and current Braves Vice President, Anthopoulos, gave Bautista what could be his final shot in the Major Leagues with the Braves organization. But the veteran didn’t impress early on. “We agree that for him, there wasn’t going to be at bats here, there wasn’t going to be playing time here, that’s not right for him,” Anthopoulos commented in the wake of the release. “We just kind of agreed, ‘Hey give him a chance to go find that playing time.’”
Whether this will be the end of the road for Bautista or not, the road he paved was one less traveled. In his time in the Majors, the guy known as ‘Joey Bats’ has been one of the league’s most feared power hitters. He has won three Silver Slugger Awards and played in six All-Star games. His 14-year MLB career has been star-studded so maybe retiring now wouldn’t be the worst option for the former slugger.
But the Braves will put this behind them as they now look to 24-year-old, Johan Camargo, to be their everyday third baseman. “He’s one of those guys where if he hits it off his chest or kicks it to the side, he’s going to make up for it with his arm. You always feel comfortable with the ball going to him because you know he’s going to get a glove on it. Then, he’s got a cannon,” Braves pitcher, Sean Newcomb, spoke of Camargo on Saturday night.
In addition to his sound defensive tactics, Camargo is currently hitting .226 with 13 RBI and two home runs. The young guy looks to be on the rise for the Braves. And young, “on the rise” players are what the Braves have been looking to build their future championship team on.
So, for the Braves, it’s out with the old and in with the new. No matter how many Silver Slugger Awards the “old” has.