Rather than activate closer Arodys Vizcaino on Sunday as initially planned, he or the Braves wanted to test the ailing shoulder with another bullpen session Monday.
Now it’s go time for his return.
Provided Vizcaino feels as good Tuesday as he did during a Monday afternoon bullpen session at Yankee Stadium, he’s expected to be activated Tuesday before the second of a three-game series between the teams who entered with the best records in their respective leagues.
“Everything’s good. Ready for tomorrow,” said Vizcaino, who was placed on the 10-day DL June 24 with shoulder inflammation and last pitched June 21.
He’s thrown two bullpen sessions in the past several days and had no issues, Vizcaino said.
“He felt great. He says it’s as good as he’s felt in a long time,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We’ll just wait till he comes in tomorrow and hopefully he’ll be good and we can get him going.”
The Braves’ maligned bullpen could certainly use Vizcaino now. He converted 15 of 17 save opportunities and has a 1.82 ERA and .204 opponents’ average in 30 appearances with 33 strikeouts, 12 walks and two homers allowed in 29-2/3 innings.
After giving up three runs and four hits over consecutive appearances May 13-15, he converted all eight save opportunities in a span of 10 scoreless appearances before the shoulder issue flared up.
While Vizcaino implied the Braves had him wait to throw another bullpen before activating him, Snitker said he thought the closer had asked for the additional session.
“I think he wanted to throw another (pen) and throw his breaking ball, and just kind of do the assortment,” Snitker said. “Because they put him through the paces with his fastball in the first side (session), ramping that up. ... We’ll wait until he comes in tomorrow and see how he feels, and if he’s good I don’t know why we won’t bring him on board.”