Teheran, Flowers, Vizcaino all could be activated next week

MILWAUKEE – The Braves won four in a row and 10 of 14 entering Wednesday despite having several key pieces of their team on the disabled list, three of whom could return during the upcoming homestand.

No. 1 starter Julio Teheran, closer Arodys Vizcaino and catcher Tyler Flowers all could come off the 15-day DL at some point during a six-game homestand that starts Monday.

Teheran, on the DL with a right lat strain, is scheduled to throw a bullpen side session Thursday and make one rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett. Barring any setbacks, he would likely be activated late in the homestand that runs through Aug. 21 and culminates with a four-game series against the Nationals.

He was placed on the DL on Aug. 2 retroactive to July 31, the day after Teheran’s last start.

Vizcaino threw a simulated game Wednesday at Braves minor league headquarters in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., against a group of hitters that included Flowers. Vizcaino is rehabbing from an oblique strain in his right side and has been on the DL since July 16, while Flowers is recovering from a fractured hand and has been on the DL since July 15 (retroactive to July 10, the day after he last played).

Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said Vizcaino would soon begin a minor league rehab stint that would likely include a few appearances before he’s activated, perhaps by the end of the homestand, though that’s not a certainty.

Flowers was initially expected to be out at least six weeks and could be back about a week sooner than that.

“During the next homestand he should be good to go,” Snitker said. “He seems really good. He’s catching sides (bullpen sessions) and hitting.”

With catcher Anthony Recker playing so well while splitting starts evenly with A.J. Pierzynski, Snitker said the Braves might consider carrying three catchers when Flowers is activated. Rosters can be expanded beyond 25 players in September.

“I don’t know, I guess the Johns (general manager John Coppolella and president of baseball operations John Hart) will have to figure that one out and see,” Snitker said. “Because Recker’s done a really good job. I don’t know if we make a move somewhere else for a temporary type thing. We could go with (less) pitching and not carry an extra bullpen guy. And probably just like everything else just see where we’re at at the time, how to approach it.”

The Braves could also have right-hander John Gant (oblique strain) back soon, though he hasn’t been particularly impressive in the past two of his three rehab starts and will likely make at least one more.

After becoming ill and leaving in the first inning of a Triple-A start Saturday, Gant pitched again for Gwinnett Thursday and allowed six hits and three runs (two earned) in four innings with one walk and three strikeouts.