Overwork ’em and let ’em go. That what the Braves decided to do to reliever Cory Gearrin on Tuesday, releasing him seven months after he underwent Tommy John surgery.
Gearrin, 28, had a 4.28 ERA in 77 relief appearances for the Braves from 2013, striking out 68 in 69 1/3 innings.
In 2013, Gearrin made the Braves out of spring training for the first time and got off to a great start. Too great for his own good, in fact. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez used him eight times in a 10-day span in late April. By the end of May, he had appeared in 30 of Atlanta’s 54 games. He started struggling, got sent down and then finished the season on the shelf with shoulder tendinitis. He came down with the sore elbow last spring and had Tommy John surgery a week into the regular season.
Gearrin might not be the only rehabbing pitching the Braves cut loose this winter. Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy are similarly coming back from Tommy John surgery, only they’re arbitration eligible and are set to make a lot more money than Gearrin, who was earning the major league minimum. Medlen received $5.8 million last year, while Beachy earned $1.45 million. One or both could be non-tendered in December.