ATLANTA -- As Arodys Vizcaino spends at least another week resting his sore right shoulder, the Braves will get their first look at Evan Phillips, who over the past couple of months went from being relatively unknown to one of Atlanta's most intriguing prospects."I don't want to say I was
ATLANTA -- As Arodys Vizcaino spends at least another week resting his sore right shoulder, the Braves will get their first look at Evan Phillips, who over the past couple of months went from being relatively unknown to one of Atlanta's most intriguing prospects.
"I don't want to say I was expecting it or anything," Phillips said. "I was just trying to work on my craft down there in [Triple-A] Gwinnett. I just wanted to be ready for when [the call] did come, and thankfully, it did."
Phillips received his first call to the Majors late Saturday night, when the Braves determined they had no choice but to place Vizcaino on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. The veteran closer has been unavailable to pitch since notching consecutive saves last weekend.
"[Vizcaino's shoulder] is not responding like we wanted it to," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It was one of those situations where if he wasn't ready to pitch today, we had to back off it and get him right, because it wasn't working."
Vizcaino's shoulder has been bothering him throughout this season. The Braves were relieved when an MRI performed on Thursday confirmed the discomfort has not been caused by structural damage. But even after receiving a cortisone injection, the 27-year-old reliever would not have been available if needed during Saturday's 7-5 loss to the Orioles.
The Braves were able to backdate Vizcaino's transaction three days to Thursday, so he'll be eligible to be activated during next Sunday's series finale in St. Louis. For now, the hope is he will not need more than an additional week of rest.
A.J. Minter and Dan Winkler will share the closing duties while Vizcaino is on the DL. Minter has pitched on consecutive days just eight times during his professional career (seven times this season). Winkler struggled as he retired just one of the five batters he faced while blowing his first career save opportunity in Friday's 15-inning loss to the Orioles.
"[Being a closer] is a different animal," Snitker said. "That's why those guys make a lot of money. It's good that [Winkler] experienced that because I don't think you're going to know how you'll react until you actually do it."
Phillips posted a 2.31 ERA and recorded 50 strikeouts over 35 innings for Gwinnett. Opponents hit .211 against the 23-year-old right-hander, who was taken by the Braves in the 17th round of the 2015 MLB Draft.
"I always believed I could be a big leaguer and dreamt about it my whole life," Phillips said. "But when things really start clicking and you really start feeling confident, you don't have to overwork while pitching. I really thought it was a possibility this year when I really got the ball rolling. I had to look myself in the mirror and think this could really happen someday."
Given Phillips produced a 6.14 combined ERA with 53 strikeouts over 51 1/3 innings between Double-A Mississippi and Gwinnett last year, there wasn't much reason to anticipate this year's success
"When he signed, he had a big league fastball and he had to do some work on his breaking ball," Snitker said. "Obviously, he has. Guys like him. We liked him this spring. His name has come up from the get-go. His name has been on the radar."
To create a 40-man roster spot for Phillips, the Braves designated infielder Phil Gosselin for assignment. Gosselin had been playing for Gwinnett since rejoining Atlanta's organization with a Minor League deal in May.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.