On Tuesday, the Atlanta Braves bullpen blew a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks by permitting seven earned runs in three innings of work. The performance left the Braves with the seventh-worst bullpen ERA in baseball. Things, it seemed, couldn't get worse. Yet they have.
On Wednesday, the Braves announced closer Arodys Vizcaino will miss the regular season after undergoing shoulder surgery to clean up his labrum and remove scar tissue:
Vizcaino had made just four appearances this season, with none coming more recent than April 7. In those games, he'd struck out six batters in four innings while walking three and allowing one run. Vizcaino, 28, has been injury-bitten throughout his career. Though he's set to qualify for free agency after the year, he's thrown 50-plus innings in just one big-league season (2017).
Unless the Braves sign free-agent reliever Craig Kimbrel, expect them to keep A.J. Minter in the ninth inning.