Veteran reliever Matt Capps and left-hander Ian Thomas were among six players dropped from the major league spring-training roster in the Braves’ first round of cuts Monday.
Thomas and infielder Elmer Reyes were optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett, while Capps, infielder Johan Camargo and catchers Yenier Bello and 19-year-old prospect Tanner Murphy were reassigned to minor league camp. Thomas and Reyes are on the Braves’ 40-man roster, while the others were non-roster invitees to spring training
Thomas walked three left-handed batters in one inning Sunday against the Astros in his second spring appearance. He made 16 relief appearances for the Braves last season as a 27-year-old rookie, posting a 4.50 ERA while allowing 10 hits and six walks with 13 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings.
Capps, 31, a Douglasville native and former All-Star closer, made two Grapefruit League appearances and allowed four hits, two runs, one walk and a hit batter in two innings, without recording a strikeout.
Capps, who signed a minor league contract last month, is trying to come back after not pitching in the majors the past two seasons due to shoulder woes that eventually led to surgery to repair a torn biceps tendon. He had 42 saves in 2010 in an All-Star season with Washington and Minnesota, but his fastball velocity hasn’t been the same since his arm problems.
Bello, 30, has not impressed much since signing with the Braves last year as a Cuban free agent. His arrival was delayed several months by bureaucratic issues, and he played only 15 minor league games last season – eight at the rookie-league level and the rest in high Single-A. He batted .308 (16-for-52) with one home run, one walk and a .719 OPS playing against far younger opponents.
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