We knew it was coming -- I actually thought the cuts were supposed to happen on Wednesday, but they had an organizational meeting Thursday night and decided to trim the roster considerably.
The biggest cut by far was that of Javy Lopez. This quote from Bobby Cox sums up what most people were concerned about with Javy this spring:
Javy had not thrown out a runner this spring in six steal attempts, and must have looked worse than many people thought. This moves Brayan Pena to the top of the list as backup catcher. He's hitting good this spring and he's thrown out all three of the base runners attempting to steal against him -- a much better option than the nostalgic pick of Javy Lopez. His only competition seems to be Corky Miller, who is not on the 40-man roster.
Instead of accepting a minor league assignment, Javy Lopez decided to retire. It would have been neat to have him on the roster this year, but cutting him was the right move for the team. Brayan Pena deserves that backup spot, and he proved it last year by handling the job well before getting injured, and proved again this spring by excelling both at the plate and behind the plate.
The fifth starter job inched closer to Jair Jurrens as Jo-Jo Reyes was also one of the players cut Friday night, and it looks like Matt Diaz has unofficially won the full time left field job as Brandon Jones was demoted to minor league camp. Both Jones and Reyes had less than stellar springs and it was clear they both needed more time in the minors.
The Braves also cut center fielder Jordan Schafer and pitchers Ryan Drese (mercifully), Francisley Bueno, and Jorge Campillo.