One of the biggest objectives for Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria and pitching coach Chris Bosio during this Spring Training is to fill out the team’s bullpen.
If everything goes well in Spring, former Atlanta Braves farmhand Arodys Vizcaino will be a part of the Cubs bullpen in 2014.
The one-time top prospect has not appeared in a Major League game in two years. Vizcaino has been sidelined with Tommy John surgery and then bone chips in his elbow. The Cubs acquired Vizcaino in a trade with the Atlanta Braves during the 2012 season in a deal that saw Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson go the Braves.
The last time Vizcaino pitched in the Major Leagues was in 2011. With the Braves in 2011, Vizcaino appeared in 17 games while posting an ERA of 4.67 and a FIP of 3.54.
Given the extended absence, it is understandable why the Cubs are taking a cautious approach with the 24-year old pitcher in Spring. Though, Renteria is impressed with the early showing that Vizcaino has had in camp.
“He looked very, very good,” manager Rick Renteria said afterward. “We were very pleased with his session. Very sharp. Live fastball. Was hitting his spots, burying his pitches when he needed to.” -Rick Renteria, ESPN Chicago
If Vizcaino continues to pitch well in camp, then the pitcher will be slotted into a middle-relief role for the Cubs bullpen. The early hope when the Cubs acquired Vizcaino was that he could potentially be the team’s closer down the line. That is not a role that Vizcaino should be in after going two years without a Major League appearance, but is something to consider if/when the Cubs trade Veras.
Vizcaino is entering the 2014 season as the 10th ranked prospect in the Cubs organization.
Tags: Chicago Cubs