The Braves made their second round of spring training cuts today:
Right-handed pitchers Cory Gearrin, Stephen Marek and Anthony Varvaro were optioned to Gwinnett (AAA). The five players who were re-assigned to minor league camp include left-handed pitcher Yohan Flande, catcher Wilkin Castillo, infielder Shawn Bowman and outfielders Brent Clevlen and Jose Constanza.
The biggest surprise here is Marek. He was having a decent spring training, and was a favorite of many to make the Braves bullpen. Gearrin didn't have a good spring, and Varvaro faltered recently after impressing early on. All the other players were expected to be reassigned at some point.
The last Talking Chop Making The Team Meter had all these guys on the outs. The highest rating was for Marek who had a down yellow arrow, indicating his chances of making the team were less than 50-50. I had actually cut Castillo, Bowman, and Flande last week from the MTM before the team decided to cut them today.
Keep in mind that if Scott Proctor isn't on the opening day 25-man roster, then the Braves have to put him on waivers (or they might have to release him, depending on what his contract says). That means there really is no competition for the bullpen, with the seven guys being Jonny Venters, Craig Kimbrel, Peter Moylan, Eric O'Flaherty, Scott Linebrink, George Sherril, and Proctor. At this point I would think the eighth man is Cristhian Martinez, but he's got options.