Jose Bautista

It looks as though Jose BaUtista is ready for the big leagues once more. According to, the Atlanta Braves third baseman has made enough progress in an extended spring training assignment that the veteran slugger could move to Triple-A Gwinnett next week and hopefully join the surprising Braves in the near future.

Jose Bautista signed with the Atlanta Braves last week for $1 million where was assigned to the team’s minor league system. The thought was the outfielder would be a solid middle-of-the-order bat and provide veteran leadership on the young ball club.

As Mark Bowman reported, the right-handed slugger will join Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday and could possibly join Atlanta’s lineup at some point within the week.

“The reports are really good — defensively, offensively, how he’s playing the game, the shape he’s in,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I think that’s what blows everybody away, the shape that he is in. He’s in good baseball shape. It’s just a matter of timing and getting him to Triple-A to see a little better pitching.”

Jose Bautista has been used primarily as an outfielder with the Toronto Blue Jays, but has experience at third base from his days with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Bowman reported Jose Bautista will be promoted in time to play both ends of Triple-A Gwinnett’s doubleheader against Rochester on Monday at Frontier Field. From there, the Braves will assess his progress and get a better feel of when he might be ready to spend some time as Atlanta’s third baseman.

The Braves are currently 12-8 this season, two games back of the National League East leading New York Mets.

It is believed Jose Bautista’s arrival could further diminish opportunities for Johan Camargo to be in the starting lineup. Camargo was slated to be Atlanta’s starting third baseman before he strained his right oblique muscle two weeks before the start of the regular season.

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