Arodys Vizcaino is taking the next step in his very gradual, very methodical return to the big leagues.
After a Spring 2012 Tommy John surgery, a Spring 2013 setback, and a mid-2013 bone spur surgery, the 23-year-old righty has been working regularly – but spaced out – in warm Florida with the High-A Daytona Cubs. While his ability probably dictates he pitch at a much higher level (the big leagues, at some point), the Cubs have wanted to be very cautious with one of the few impact arms in their system.
The next step starts today, as Sean Kernan reports that Vizcaino has been promoted to the AA Tennessee Smokies. At High-A, Vizcaino was understandably not challenged, posting a 1.00 ERA over 9 innings of work, striking out 10 and walking 4. At Tennessee, he’ll continue to work regularly, and it’s possible he’ll see AAA after another month of regular, monitored work. As I’ve said as far back as early February, this is absolutely the right approach with Vizcaino, who could wind up logging time in the big leagues in the second half of the year (when his arm is ready for it, and when service time considerations fall by the wayside).
Given his surgeries and past durability concerns, Vizcaino is probably going to be a reliever long-term, but he could be one of the few seriously impactful ones. That’s a guy you want to keep healthy, and keep under control, for as long as possible. I can’t wait to continue following his ascent.
Taking place on the Daytona Cubs’ roster is reliever Zach Godley, featured by Luke just this morning – wherein Luke had the foresight to ponder why Godley hadn’t yet been promoted, given how absurdly well he was pitching for Kane County. Well, there you go. Read Luke’s piece for more on an intriguing reliever in the Cubs’ system.
(Aside: this is probably just a one-off promotion situation, tied to Vizcaino’s specific plan. But it’s got me itchy for promotion season. Hopefully there will be more moves coming soon, because, hey, it’s fun to follow.)