Prior to their series finale against the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park, the Atlanta Braves announced Sunday morning that they have released veteran third baseman Jose Bautista.
In 12 games with the Braves, Bautista batted just .143 – more than 100 points below his career batting average of .249 – and hit two home runs. Defensively, he was adequate, but it was clear that it had been many years since he played the position, having switched from right field, where he mostly played during his nine-plus seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Bautista’s departure means Johan Camargo is the expected third baseman going forward. With Dansby Swanson’s return from the disabled list, Camargo was about to be pushed back to the bench, but the Braves could certainly use his bat and glove in the everyday lineup.
In 24 games this season, Camargo has 14 hits, including two homers, and 13 runs batted in. He had a big night at the plate in the Braves’ 8-1 win over the Marlins Saturday night, going 2-for-2 with a double, a walk and two RBIs.
Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos explained to 680 The Fan why they ultimately made the decision to release Bautista.
The Braves remain a half-game ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies for first place in the National League’s Eastern Division entering Sunday’s action.
Note: A previous version of this article stated Bautista played first base with the Toronto Blue Jays. The article has been corrected to state he actually played right field.Follow @Sean_Breslin