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Atlanta Braves news and links: Can Drew Stubbs make the team with his limited time left?

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Drew Stubbs has had a pretty interesting week, as he's gone from being released by the Texas Rangers to being picked up by the Atlanta Braves. He only has a few days to make an impression on the Braves -- will it be enough time for him to make the team?

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Carlos Torres opts out

Another bullpen candidate has fallen by the wayside, and this time it's Carlos Torres. The former New York Mets right-hander was apparently on the outside looking in when it came to the bullpen competition, so he decided to go ahead and opt out of his contract. He could return to the organization at the AAA level, but that's assuming that he doesn't latch on with an MLB team soon.

Stubbs only has a limited amount of time to make an impression

The Braves made a bit of a shocking move earlier this week when they signed outfielder Drew Stubbs to a minor league deal after Stubbs failed to make the Texas Rangers' Opening Day squad. As such, Stubbs had to catch a redeye flight in order to make it to Florida to join up with the Braves, and now he's only got a few days to do whatever he can to make the team. Needless to say, this is an extremely busy time in Stubbs' career.

"Obviously this is unique circumstances, just with a few days left in camp," said Stubbs, who signed a minor-league deal on Wednesday, after opting out of a similar contract with the Rangers when told he wouldn’t make the opening-day roster. "Really, all I’m looking to do is come here and showcase what I can do for a few days and see how it shakes out."

While they like what Jeff Francoeur provides and already named him to their opening-day roster, the right-handed hitting Francoeur is a corner outfielder and pinch-hitter, not someone to play center for any significant amount.

Thus the call to Stubbs, 31, coming off a career-worst season in which he hit .195 with five homers, and a .665 OPS in a career-low 140 plate appearances over 78 games with the Rockies and Rangers.

John Schuerholz speaks on new role within Braves organization

Yesterday, the Braves held a press conference to announce a bit of reshuffling in their organization. Mike Plant and Derek Schiller were named Presidents of development and business, respectively, and the legendary John Schuerholz was named Vice Chairman of the Braves. Schuerholz tried to explain during the press conference that the new role would be one that allowed him to still play an important role in the organization while also having more free time to spend with his family.

"I'm at that intersection of my life where, you know, 51 years (in baseball) and I taught school for three years before those 51 years. So I've been working for most of my adult life. It's time for me now to spend a little more time with my family," said Schuerholz, who noted his fourth grandchild is on the way. " ... But still continue to do what I can for the Braves. I love this organization. I can't go play golf every day. I don't want to."

The soon-to-be Braves Hall of Fame inductee, who led the organization to 14 consecutive division titles and the 1995 World Series, would not accept one emerging narrative concerning the move.

"I'm not stepping down. I'm not stepping out. I'm not stepping back," Schuerholz said. "I'm stepping forward, maybe with little bitty steps this time and not quite the larger steps I've taken over my career."

A very special midweek episode of the Talking Chop Podcast

If you were missing the Talking Chop Podcast during its normal upload time during the weekend, then Carlos and Brad made up for it by giving you a treat: A mid-week edition of the Talking Chop Podcast! In episode 8, the guys talk about the latest news in Braves camp and delve into predictions as well. If you haven't given it a listen already, then go right ahead and do so!


Pablo Sandoval will start the regular season on the bench

If Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval was hoping to bounce back from what was a catastrophic 2015 season in Boston, then this isn't exactly the most ideal way to go about that particular process. Sandoval will start the season on the bench, as Travis Shaw has won the starting job at third base. Naturally, this has our friends over at Over The Monster wondering what's next for the Panda, as he's suffered yet another setback in his short time in Boston.

While we don't know absolutely for certain without question what's next for Sandoval and the Red Sox, we at least know the direction they are both heading in. Sandoval's career isn't over, not in Boston or otherwise, and there can still be plenty of use for him even if he's only a bench player from now on. If the Sox have to trade him, they most likely can do so, but there could be a number of situations where they want to keep Sandoval around because there will be a more pressing need for him than there is on Opening Day, 2016.

Orioles' Hyun-soo Kim will refuse any demotion

As recently as earlier this week, there were reports that Baltimore Orioles outfielder Hyun-soo Kim was going to accept a demotion if it came down to it, since it was looking less and less likely that he was going to make the O's Opening Day squad. Now, that news has turned out to be a bunch of malarkey, as Kim has reportedly exercised the right in his contract to refuse any demotion to the minors. As such, the O's now have a decision on their hands: Do they keep him on the roster and hope that he can turn it around during the regular season, or do they just eat the money that they owe him and release him?