Braves promote Vizcaino and release Proctor
MIAMI — Arodys Vizcaino has strengthened his position as one of the Braves’ top prospects and over the remainder of this season he will have the opportunity to strengthen Atlanta’s bullpen.
Vizcaino has received his first call to the Majors and is expected to be in the bullpen for Wednesday night’s series finale against the Marlins. To create a roster spot for the hard-throwing right-hander, the Braves have released Scott Proctor.
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Vizcaino since he impressed during this year’s Futures Game. MLB.com ranks him as the Braves’ second-best prospect. The 20-year-old right-hander was acquired in the Dec. 2009 trade that sent Javier Vazquez to the Yankees.
Blessed with an above average fastball and a curveball that has impressed many scouts and opponents, Vizcaino has recorded 100 strikeouts and issued 28 walks while combining for 97 innings with Class A-Advanced Lynchburg, Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett this year. He spent the first half of the season as a starting pitcher with Lynchburg and Mississippi.
Recognizing that Vizcaino could aid their Major League bullpen, the Braves had him start serving as a reliever in July. A short time later, they promoted him to Gwinnett, where he allowed one earned run and seven hits in seven innings. In the process, he registered eight strikeouts and did not issue a walk.
Proctor has struggled throughout this season, posting a 6.44 ERA and allowing opponents to produce a .383 on-base percentage in 31 appearances. The patience the Braves showed the 34-year-old right-hander was exhausted Monday night, when he recorded just one out while allowing two runs and issuing two walks in the process of attempting to protect a five-run ninth-inning lead.
Because Proctor was unable to get through that inning clean, the Braves had to call upon closer Craig Kimbrel to work a second straight day and for the third time in four games. Wanting to give Kimbrel a day off Tuesday, the Braves opted to hold top setup men Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters back for the final two innings.
This led the Braves to call upon rookie Anthony Varvaro, who allowed a game-tying three-run homer after entering the seventh inning with two outs. Kimbrel ended up being forced to work after the Braves reclaimed the lead for good in the 11th inning.