Vizcaino, Fujikawa showing progress in rehab process
MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs are eager to see right-hander Arodys Vizcaino this spring. He's been slow in rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, which he had in March 2012.
"I think his stuff is as good as anyone in this camp when he's healthy, and he's healthy right now," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. "As far as setting expectations for the beginning of the year or whether he breaks with the team or not or what his role will be, it's too early for that. We'll see him on the mound and see him in games and then make a decision later this spring."
Vizcaino, 23, will be used in the bullpen.
Another pitcher who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, Kyuji Fujikawa, also is making progress. He underwent surgery on his right elbow last June, and is now throwing off flat ground. In his last session, he threw 25 pitches, 20 for strikes.
"I don't want to put any specific date timetables on him, but he should be [throwing] off a mound here pretty soon," Hoyer said. "Any time you have a Tommy John guy, you have concerns about setbacks. It's been a really good process so far. He's really excited about how good he does feel and how well the ball is coming out of his hand."
Among the other pitchers to watch this spring are Justin Grimm, 25, who has the potential to be a closer, and Cuban right-hander Armando Rivero, 26, who pitched at Class A Kane County, Class A Advanced Daytona and Double-A Tennessee last season as well as the Arizona Fall League. Rivero posted a 4.15 ERA in 20 Minor League games in relief combined, striking out 45 and walking 12 over 30 1/3 innings.