Veteran reliever Veras released by Braves

Atlanta's bullpen competition down to Russell, Avilan, Kohn, Vizcaino, Jaime

Veteran reliever Veras released by Braves

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When the Braves signed Jose Veras to a Minor League contract this offseason, they were hoping he would pitch like he had with the Astros during the second half of 2014. Instead, they got a glimpse of why the Cubs released the veteran reliever less than two months after targeting him to be their closer last year.

The Braves announced they had released Veras on Thursday morning, less than 12 hours after the right-hander allowed a hit, issued a walk and hit a batter while recording just two outs against the Yankees.

With Veras out of the picture, James Russell, Luis Avilan, Michael Kohn, Arodys Vizcaino and Juan Jaime will battle for the final three available spots in Atlanta's bullpen.

Veras posted an 11.81 ERA and allowed opponents to produce a .531 on-base percentage in six appearances this spring. The 34-year-old surrendered eight hits, issued seven walks and recorded just four strikeouts while facing 32 batters since the start of the Grapefruit League season.

After allowing five earned runs while recording just two outs against the Mets in his first outing this spring, Veras held opponents scoreless in three of his next four appearances. But he allowed at least one hit or a walk in each of his six outings.

Veras was released by the Cubs last season after he posted an 8.10 ERA and allowed opponents to produce a .419 on-base percentage. In 34 appearances after landing with the Astros, he posted a 3.03 ERA and allowed opponents to reach base at a .295 clip.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.