Vizcaino (shoulder) expects to return Sunday

Closer on disabled list with right shoulder inflammation

June 26th, 2018

ATLANTA -- does not know how cooperative his right shoulder will be over the remainder of this season. But the Braves' closer is confident he'll be available to pitch when he becomes eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Sunday.

"Sometimes you need to rest a little bit, but I think I will be okay this weekend," Vizcaino said.

Vizcaino played catch before Tuesday night's game against the Reds and will likely throw off a mound on Friday in St. Louis. Braves manager Brian Snitker seems confident the right-hander will be available for the finale of this weekend's series against the Cardinals.

"I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be ready when his time is up," Snitker said. "He's going to need to have [a mound session] to let it eat a little bit. But I think he is feeling a lot better."

After appearing on June 17 for the fourth time within a five-day span, Vizcaino began feeling shoulder discomfort more significantly than what he has battled since the beginning of the season. An MRI showed no structural damage, and he received a cortisone injection to reduce the inflammation around his shoulder.

When Vizcaino remained unavailable through the first two games of this past weekend's series against the Orioles, the Braves placed him on the DL and took advantage of the option to backdate the transaction three days to June 21.

As Vizcaino has finally started feeling the benefits of the cortisone injection over the past couple days, he has become more optimistic about what he may provide when he returns. But he understands there might be stretches this season when he will need to rest for a few days to avoid another DL stint.

"I will do whatever I can to help the team, but there's nothing you can do when you go on the DL," Vizcaino said.

Wisler returns

The Braves recalled  to fill the roster spot vacated when was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett after surrendering a pair of runs over one frame in Monday night's 11-inning win over the Reds.

Wisler once again provides the Braves a long-relief option. But if he becomes more confident with how effective he could be while relying heavily on his slider, there is a chance he could eventually move into a middle-relief role at some point this season.

"We saw it earlier this year," Snitker said. "It's become a good pitch for him and something he needs to throw. It's something he's worked on and needs to become a part of his game."

Wisler's slider accounted for at least 40 percent of the pitches he threw during each of the three appearances he made for Atlanta in May. This certainly seems to be a wise approach for the once-promising prospect, who has seen opponents go 7-for-38 against the sliders put in play this season.

While Wisler has not yet shown he necessarily has a devastating slider, further developing the pitch and using it more frequently might prove to be his best chance to stick at the big league level as a reliever.

"It might be [a pitch] that he ends up staying up here with," Snitker said.

Odds and ends

played left field for Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday night. The Braves have not said when the 20-year-old outfielder will be activated, but it still appears he could be in Atlanta's lineup for Friday's series opener in St. Louis.

• Atlanta Hawks first-round selection Trae Young threw the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday night's game at SunTrust Park.

• The Braves tallied their Major League-leading fifth walk-off homer on Monday, moving them within two of the franchise record set by the 1971 club.