Viera, Fla. – Outfielder Gregor Blanco was optioned to Class AAA Gwinnett on Sunday, reducing the Braves’ camp roster to 36.
Manager Bobby Cox said there would be more cuts on Monday as the Braves continue reducing shaping what will be their 25-man opening day roster. They opened camp just over five weeks ago with 58 players on hand including 18 non-roster invitees.
Blanco hit .241 (7-for-29) with no extra-base hits, six walks and four strikeouts in 20 games. With rookie Jason Heyward in right field and Melky Cabrera and Matt Diaz likely to split left-field duties, there’s no room for a fifth outfielder who plays no other positions.
Among the Braves’ bench players, Eric Hinske has corner-outfield experience and infielder Omar Infante can play center field. Cabrera figures to be the primary backup to center fielder Nate McLouth.
Utility infielders Joe Thurston and Brooks Conrad are competing for the last bench job.