Braves right-hander Arodys Vizcaino will be suspended for 80 games after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. The league has since announced the suspension, citing Stanozolol as the banned substance in question.
The Braves re-acquired the 24-year-old Vizcaino from the Cubs this offseason, swapping him straight up for second baseman Tommy La Stella. As Passan notes in a second tweet, the former top prospect was throwing significantly harder in spring this year and will serve his suspension at the Triple-A level, where he was optioned on Monday.
Vizcaino has just 22 1/3 innings of experience at the big league level, having allowed 12 runs in that time with a 21-to-12 K/BB ratio. Vizcaino had Tommy John surgery in 2012 and underwent a second elbow surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow the following year. He split the 2014 season across three levels in the Cubs’ Minor League system, working to a 3.54 ERA with 42 strikeouts against 18 walks in 40 2/3 innings. One would think that a strong start to the season could have positioned Vizcaino to surface in the Majors as a bullpen option for the Braves.
The suspension is particularly detrimental to Vizcaino due to service time implications. While he was slated to start the season in the Minors, Vizcaino has two years, 77 days of Major League service time, meaning he needed just 95 days of big league service to reach three total years and somewhere in the vicinity of 53 days to put him on the bubble of Super Two status. Both of those distinctions will be difficult to reach now, as he’ll sit out half the season and would likely need to prove himself in the Minors following that suspension before warranting consideration at the Major League level.