Vizcaino signed a one-year, $4.8 million contract with the Braves on Friday to avoid arbitration, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports. Vizcaino has a 2.54 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 9.8 K/9 over 95.2 innings out of Atlanta's bullpen the last two seasons as he enters his final year under team control. The 28-year-old missed a good chunk of 2018 due to shoulder inflammation but should begin the season as a primary option at closer for the Braves, with left-hander A.J. Minter also potentially in the mix.
Vizcaino will likely be used as the primary closer the rest of the way, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. Vizcaino allowed two runs on three hits Sept. 17, but he hasn't allowed a hit in his other three appearances since returning from a shoulder injury. He picked up a save in his most recent outing -- his first save since June 17. A.J. Minter had a decent run in June and July as Vizcaino's top replacement, but Minter has posted a 4.24 ERA and 1.47 WHIP since the start of August and it sounds like he's fallen out of favor with manager Brian Snitker.
Vizcaino struck out one in a scoreless ninth inning Saturday to record his 16th save of the season in a 5-3 win over the Phillies as the Braves clinched the National League East title. The righty converted his first save since June 17 and has now thrown three scoreless innings in four appearances since his return from the disabled list. The 27-year-old figures to be an important part of the Atlanta late-inning relief crew in the postseason, and he might get more save opportunities over the season's final week.
Vizcaino threw a scoreless ninth inning in Saturday's 7-1 loss to the Nationals, striking out one and walking one. It's clear that Vizcaino won't be immediately retaking his role as the Braves' closer after missing over two months with shoulder inflammation. It remains to be seen whether he'll require several more low-leverage appearances or if he'll be in contention for a save opportunity sometime soon.
Vizcaino (shoulder) was activated from the 60-day disabled list Friday. Vizcaino has been out since mid-July with right shoulder inflammation. Prior to the injury, he had posted a stellar 1.65 ERA with 15 saves in 33 appearances. It remains to be seen whether or not he'll immediately retake his closer position or if he'll have to fight A.J. Minter for it. Minter has been a capable deputy, posting a 3.36 ERA while saving 14 games, though he has a 7.71 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP over his last seven appearances. Luiz Gohara (shoulder) was placed on the 60-day disabled list in a corresponding move.