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

Brandon Morgan: UTC's O-Line Veteran

It’s a family tradition in the Morgan household to play in the trenches where the football wars are won or lost on gridirons in the fall. And it has been a successful tradition. Owner of a deep voice and pleasant smile along with solid football technique on his 6-2, 300-pound frame, Mocs redshirt junior Brandon Morgan and his O-Line (Offensive ... (click for more)

UC Football Standout Johnny Green Diagnosed with ALS

University of Chattanooga football All-American Johnny Green points to Nov. 8, 1958 and a mighty 14-6 triumph against Tennessee in Knoxville. “Some thought it was an upset, but as players we knew we could win that game and we did,” said Green earlier this week who was able to take the best shot the Vols had and came out the winner. “Beating Tennessee was ... (click for more)

City Sound Control Ordinance Goes Into Effect In 30 Days

A controversial Downtown Sound Control Ordinance will go into effect in 30 days after being approved by the City Council on second reading. Councilwoman Carol Berz said she believes it is a good ordinance, but not a perfect one, and that it should be under continual review for possible revisions. The ordinance itself calls for it to be examined at the end of the first year. ... (click for more)

Boy, 15, Shot In The Shoulder On Taylor Street

A 15-year-old boy was shot in the shoulder on Taylor Street on Tuesday night. At approximately 7 p.m., Chattanooga Police received a call of shots fired in the area of 3200 Taylor  and were advised at 7:22 p.m. that a person arrived at a local hospital suffering from a gunshot wound. Investigators were advised that the young black male sustained a gunshot wound to his ... (click for more)

Noise Fallout Coming Soon On Chattanooga's Flawed Sound Control Ordinance - And Response (3)

I have been practicing acoustical, audio and sound engineering for more than twenty years. Since I understand many aspects of sound, I sent the enclosed letter to the Chattanooga City Council members regarding some of my concerns on the impending noise ordinance changes. My comments were unacknowledged.     August 19, 2014 Dear Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)