DUNEDIN, Fla. — Outfielder Jordan Schafer and infielder Diory Hernandez were optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday along with pitchers Mike Minor, Juan Abreu and Jairo Asencio.
That left 33 active players on the Braves’ active camp roster, with eight cuts still to be made before opening day.
The Hernandez move would seem to increase the likelihood that infielder/outfielder Ed Lucas makes the team, since the Braves need a backup shortstop and he has plenty of minor league experience at the position.
Eric Hinske and David Ross are assured of two bench jobs, and infielder Brooks Conrad is likely to get one of the other three spots for the power he provides and his performance in key late-innings situations last season.
Corner infielder/outfielder Joe Mather has a good shot at a bench job despite his poor spring. Mather is out of minor-league options, and another team would likely claim him if the Braves tried to get him through waivers in order to send him to