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: MLB.com

Luis Vasquez
Luis Vasquez
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

PHOTOS: Friday's Pounder Classic Baseball Action

DecoTurf Boys Tennis Semifinals Are Set

  After two rounds of boys prep tennis Friday at Baylor and the Championship Club, the top four seeds in the A Division held up for Saturday semis (11 a.m. at Champions) in the DecoTurf Boys High School Championships.    Two-time defending champion Hinsdale Central (Ill.) won twice and faces No.4 Wiregrass Ranch (Fla.), while No.3 seed and TSSAA D-II state champ ... (click for more)

Robber Who Was Shot At Rossville Boulevard Car Lot Dies; No Charges To Be Filed

Police said a person who was shot during a robbery attempt at a car lot at 4314 Rossville Blvd. around 1:50 p.m. on Thursday has died. Police said the shooting has been ruled a "justifiable homicide" and no charges will be brought against 27-year-old Alan Miller. The shooting in which the robbery victim shot the suspect was at Miller Auto Sales. (click for more)

Man Charged In Shooting On Sixth Avenue Had Been Shot Himself Last Week; Police Say Incident "Part Of Gang War"

A man charged with attempted first-degree murder on Sixth Avenue Court on Thursday afternoon was shot himself earlier this month. O'Shae Kadaris Smith, 20, of 2114 E. 12th St., is also charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was one of two people shot on Rawlings Street on March 16. Kendre Allen, ... (click for more)

Finley Stadium Needs To Grow Up - And Response

RE:  Finley Stadium Financial Picture Rosy; Beer And Alcohol Sales Approved; AstroTurf Almost Ready and City, County Pitching In $250,000 Each For New Finley Stadium AstroTurf I read a story here five days ago about a rosy future for Finley stadium. It lead me to believe that the stadium was making money and even improvements with donations.  Then we get a short ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mom’s Parting Instructions

My mother, Helen Exum, went to be with the Lord in late August of last year and, in the way folks do, I was going through some of her files last week when I ran across an envelope with my name on it. Inside was a story and written in her hand were the words, “This is a wonderful story for you to tell!” Not being one to disobey my mother and not about to waylay the wishes of the ... (click for more)