The Five Spot: Ranking MLB's top pitchers

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We’ve just rolled out a new section on NBCSports.com called The Five Spot.

We throw out a topic, rank the top five, and let the readers have their
turn. Sort of like our own little place for bar arguments, only
hopefully a little more coherent.

Anyway, the debut topic for “The Spot” is baseball’s top five pitchers. The list?

1. Johan Santana
2. Roy Halladay
3. Tim Lincecum
4. CC Sabathia
5. Cole Hamels

So who got left off? Should the order be changed? For the record, I’d put Zack Greinke on there. But that’s just me.

Braves release Jose Bautista

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The Braves released veteran infielder/outfielder Jose Bautista on Sunday, per a team announcement. Right-hander Lucas Sims was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett in a corresponding move.

Bautista, 37, was recruited by the Braves in mid-April as a potential third base option. He inked a minor league deal with the club and lasted just 12 games in the majors, during which he batted a meager .143/.250/.343 with three extra-base hits and a .593 OPS across 40 plate appearances. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the big leagues — he collected 40 home runs, a .250 average and 5.3 fWAR with the Blue Jays in 2015 — his power has been noticeably declining over the last three years, and it’s clear the Braves don’t have enough time or opportunity to wait for him to get his groove back.

Without Bautista, Johan Camargo is expected to handle the hot corner on a daily basis. The 24-year-old infielder is working through his sophomore season at the major league level and entered Sunday’s game batting .226/.368/.403 with six extra bases and a .772 OPS in 76 PA. General manager Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged that top infield prospect Austin Riley could also get a shot at playing third base sometime in 2018, though the club has no current plans to promote him from Triple-A at the moment.