Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that the Braves are expected to call up Jose Bautista before tonight’s game against the San Francisco Giants.
Bautista signed a minor league deal with the Braves last month and, though he started slow in the minors, has begun to heat up a bit in recent days. An old man needs his reps, right? Bautista, originally a third baseman but a long time corner outfielder, will return to third base duties for Atlanta. Should be interesting to watch at least.
After breaking out as a major star for the Blue Jays between 2010 to 2015, Bautista struggled last year, hitting just .203 with 23 home runs and 65 RBI. The Braves are hoping there is still something left in the tank, though, as their third base situation is a bit less-than-settled in 2018.
Ryan Flaherty has handled most of the third base duties this year, hitting .310/.406/.437 with two home runs, nine RBI and three stolen bases, but that is WAY WAY above his usual level of production and it’d be unreasonable to expect him to keep that up for the next five months. Charlie Culberson has also featured in the mix, but he’s really a utility guy at best. Same with Johan Camargo who, while primarily a third baseman last year, has played far more shortstop in the minors and is currently filling in for the slightly banged up Dansby Swanson.
The Braves have open space on the 40-man roster, so when they select Bautista’s contract they won’t need to make room there, but they will have to make room on the 25-man roster. It remains to be seen who will be moved to make room.