ATLANTA -- Arodys Vizcaino willingly took the ball as he converted a save during four of the final five days of last week's homestand. But the consequential effects of this relatively normal workload have made it clear the Braves' closer's shoulder may not allow him to be available as frequently
ATLANTA -- Arodys Vizcaino willingly took the ball as he converted a save during four of the final five days of last week's homestand. But the consequential effects of this relatively normal workload have made it clear the Braves' closer's shoulder may not allow him to be available as frequently as the team might like over the remainder of the season.
"It's one of those spots in the year with him," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "We went through it a couple times with him last year. There are times, he's going to have to be down just to get him through the year."
After pitching for the fourth time last week during last Sunday's win over the Padres, Vizcaino was unavailable and fortunately unneeded as a save opportunity was not created for the Braves during this week's two-game series in Toronto. But when he was not used during Friday night's 15-inning loss to the Orioles, it was apparent the veteran right-hander was dealing with something.
Vizcaino's right shoulder has bothered him throughout this season. He underwent treatment and received a cortisone injection earlier this week. There was initially hope he would have been available for Friday's game. But because he was sore, the team opted to rest him until at least Saturday afternoon's game.
Knowing there will be points where Vizcaino will not be available, the Braves have to be ready to occasionally give the closing duties to A.J. Minter. But given Minter's workload will also have to monitored as he progresses through his first big league season, there's seemingly an even greater need for Atlanta to attempt to improve their bullpen over the next few weeks.
"Viz has been put together a couple times," Snitker said. "We're always going to be aware of that."
The Braves recalled right-handed reliever Lucas Sims and optioned outfielder Preston Tucker to Triple-A Gwinnett before Saturday afternoon's game against the Orioles.
Sims will provide some short-term depth over the next few days. Shane Carle, who completed two innings on Friday, and Jesse Biddle, who completed three innings Friday, were both unavailable Saturday and might remain so until Monday.
When the Braves promoted Danny Santana on Friday, Tucker became the most likely candidate to be sent down once Ronald Acuna returns from the disabled list. With Acuna set to return as early as Monday, this move was simply made just a couple days earlier than anticipated.
Tucker had totaled just 15 plate appearances this month.
"He's not getting a lot of at-bats here," Snitker said. There's going to be a point when we need him again. So, it's good for him to go down there and get regular at-bats."
Folty set to return
Snitker confirmed Mike Foltynewicz will come off the disabled list to start Monday's series opener against the Reds. Foltynewicz has been on the DL since exiting his June 12 start with tightness around his right triceps muscle.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.