Braves release Gary Matthews Jr.

Not the Matthews thing, this:

It looks like the Braves will go with Jesse Garcia as a backup infielder over Wilson Betemit and non-roster invitee Jorge Velandia, though team officials still are keeping an eye open for possible trades or waiver-wire moves.

Garcia, batting .283 with a homer in 46 at-bats, is out of minor-league options and would likely be claimed by another team if the Braves tried to get him through waivers and send him to the minors. Betemit, 23, has a minor-league option remaining and can be sent to Richmond without exposure to waivers.

Get this straight: Nobody is going to claim Jesse Garcia. He sucks, and everybody knows he sucks. Just because he hit .283 (meaning he went 13-46 — one less single and it’s .260) doesn’t mean he suddenly figured out he’d been holding the bat with the wrong end all these years. The Braves have sent him through waivers numerous times over the last two years and I’ll bet nobody even considered claiming him.

Also, Eli Marrero has a strained abdominal muscle, meaning Hollins and Wise — or one and Hessman — might have a shot at starting the season in Atlanta.