"Shin-Soo Choo has a chance to be the best Pacific Rim player ever"

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Shin-Soo Choo.jpgThose are bold words given that Ichiro Suzuki still walks the Earth and gets 200 hits a year, but when you realize that it’s Choo’s agent Scott Boras saying it, all becomes clear.

That aside, Tim Brown’s profile on Choo in which that quote appears is a great read about the baseball’s least-known superstar.  For example, maybe everyone knows this and I just missed it, but I didn’t know that Choo had a 95 m.p.h. fastball and was signed by the Mariners to be a pitcher.

Not that there will be things we don’t know about Choo for long. He’s hitting .338/.452/.532 on the young season, showing no indication that last year’s breakout year was a fluke.

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.