Odds and ends from Viera
With the rain clouds currently in the distance here at Space Coast Stadium, Jason Heyward is preparing to prove he’s no longer bothered by the left groin discomfort that sidelined him the last three games.
In addition, Chipper Jones is prepping to clear his next hurdle by playing third base for a second straight day. When the Braves travel to Jupiter tomorrow to play the Marlins, Jones will rest his surgically-repaired left knee.
After Tommy Hanson completes his scheduled three innings against the Nationals this afternoon, Arodys Vizcaino will throw at least one inning. The 20-year-old right-hander’s fastball was clocked around 95-97 mph as he tossed two scoreless innings against the Red Sox last Wednesday.
It’s remarkable that Vizcaino is registering this kind of velocity when just last summer he seemed destined for Tommy John surgery.
Earlier this week, a National League scout said he feels Vizcaino will be a reliever at the Major League level. It remains to be seen whether this proves to be a sound projection.
But for now, the Braves will simply continue to count themselves lucky to have Vizcaino, Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran at the same time.
Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell said Teheran will likely pitch in Monday afternoon’s game against the Marlins. The 20-year-old right-hander, who is rated MLB.com’s top pitching prospect, has seemingly overcome the back spasms that bothered him last week.
While Teheran, Delgado and Vizcaino get most of the attention, multiple coaches and members of management has spent the past couple weeks saying, “Don’t forget about Brett Oberholtzer.”
Oberholtzer really impressed with the control he showed while tossing a pair of scoreless innings against the Nationals Friday.
During September’s Instructional League, Nationals phenom Bryce Harper victimized Delgado with an opposite-field homer that traveled an estimated 400-plus feet.
One scout who watched Friday’s game said the left-handed Oberholtzer made Harper “look stupid” while striking him out.