Atlanta Braves Make More Spring Training Cuts

Rhea County Native Cory Gearrin Could Make Opening Day Roster

Friday, March 21, 2014
Cory Gearrin
Cory Gearrin
- photo by Tim Evearitt
Braves general manager Frank Wren will likely spend the next week scouring the trade market in search of relief pitchers. But the makeup of his club's potential Opening Day roster became a little clearer when five members of the 40-man roster were optioned on Thursday morning.

Right-handed pitchers Luis Vasquez and Juan Jaime, catcher Christian Bethancourt and outfielder Todd Cunningham were optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett. Slick-fielding shortstop Elmer Reyes was optioned to Double-A Mississippi.

Cory Gearrin's presence on the 40-man roster should aid his cause to get one of the remaining spots.

While Bethancourt was not projected to be a part of the Opening Day roster, the highly-regarded prospect could make his way to Atlanta if Evan Gattis' offensive production is adversely affected in a starting role.

Bethancourt's strong arm has allowed him to stand as one of the game's top catching prospects. But scouts have continued to question his work ethic behind the plate and his offensive potential.

Vasquez and Jaime were the only members of this optioned quintet who seemingly had legitimate aspirations to be on the Opening Day roster. But the two hard-throwing right-handed relievers sealed their fate during Wednesday's game against the Yankees.

Jaime walked four of the five batters he faced, and Vasquez continued to show the rust that developed when he was sidelined during the early weeks of Spring Training because of a strained right lat muscle.

But as he surrendered a hit and issued two walks in his one-inning stint against the Yankees, Vasquez provided indication he is moving in the right direction. The fastball he produces with his sidearm delivery touches 95 mph. If he harnesses his command and continues producing similar velocity, he could eventually end up in Atlanta's bullpen.

Craig Kimbrel, Luis Avilan, Jordan Walden, David Carpenter and Anthony Varvaro currently stand as the only relievers who are seemingly guaranteed an Opening Day roster spot.

Left-hander Ryan Buchter and right-hander Gus Schlosser stand as the two other most likely candidates to get one of the final spots in this 'pen, which could consist of eight relievers as the Braves go through their first eight to 10 games using a four-man starting rotation. But Wren will continue to look at external options via potential trades or waiver wire deals.

--- Source:

Luis Vasquez
Luis Vasquez
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

‘Sonny’ Sumner, Former Successful Baylor Tennis Coach Of ‘60s and ‘70s, Dies

Ira Leonard Sumner, who was an assistant and later head coach of Baylor School’s tennis team when it was a perennial state and even national tennis power more than four decades ago, died Tuesday.  His daughter, Elizabeth “Randi” Sumner Wafler, sent an email to Baylor friends saying he had died after a six-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Coach Sumner, who was ... (click for more)

UTC Track Team At Emory Classic

 The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s outdoor track and field team will head to Atlanta this weekend for the Emory Classic to run Friday and Saturday. The focus for the Mocs will be participation in specialized events. “We have begun our outdoor prep and are moving kids into the events we are asking them to specialize and participate in at the SoCon meet ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Says $4 Million Needed To Put SROs In All Hamilton County Schools

Sheriff Jim Hammond on Thursday night told members of the County School Board that $4 million is needed to provide School Resource Officers for all of the 79 schools. He said currently there are 31 SROs in 29 schools, leaving 50 uncovered. School Board member Rhonda Thurman said she believes the community could come together to provide the necessary funding. "It's something ... (click for more)

Judge Philyaw Denies He Did Not Reappoint Magistrate Because She Was Gay

Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw told a federal jury on Thursday that the fact Elizabeth Gentzler is openly gay had no part in his decision not to reappoint her as a magistrate. "Absolutely not. I have a lot of gay friends, family and acquaintances," he said. However, a court officer at Juvenile Court sided with Ms. Gentzler. Jimmie Cannon said, "Ninety-nine percent ... (click for more)

Tax All County Property Owners Once For School Safety

Our School Board, Sheriff Hammond, school administrators and the community are thoughtfully considering how to maintain safety in classrooms. Currently, discussions indicate more funding will be needed to ensure school safety. If schools are not safe and more money will change that, by all means let’s move to fix the problem.   There are many caring and knowledgeable ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘In God We Trust …And Protecting Our School Children

On a day that the Tennessee Legislature overwhelmingly approved a bill that would prominently display the words “In God We Trust” in every school building in the state, the Hamilton County School Board gave my boy Bad Little Johnny cause to get a magic market and scribble underneath, “but ‘Everybody Else Is Gonna’ Need A Pistol!’” Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond, who was ... (click for more)