The Braves announced today that right-hander Arodys Vizcaino has been placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to Aug. 24) due to inflammation in his right shoulder. The 25-year-old Vizcaino spent the majority of the season as Atlanta’s closer and was an oft-speculated-upon trade target in advance of the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline, but Vizcaino suffered an oblique strain in mid-July, which shelved him through Aug. 18 and removed the plausibility of a trade. Jim Johnson has taken over the ninth inning in his stead and handled the role fantastically, but Johnson is a free agent at season’s end, so Vizcaino will have the opportunity to reclaim the ninth inning next season. Braves manager Brian Snitker told reporters, including Mark Bowman of MLB.com, that he believes Vizcaino will be able to be activated when he is first eligible on Sept. 9.
A few more notable injury situations from around the league…
- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw pitched two innings in a simulated game today and is likely headed for a minor league rehab assignment before rejoining the big league team, writes Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times. “I think it will take a little bit of time to build him up in a way for him to be strong through September and hopefully October, as well,” said president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. The hope is that he’ll only require a single rehab outing before returning to the big league club, which could put him in line for an early September date. McCullough also notes that Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson and Scott Kazmir all pitched simulated games as well, and Kazmir is the closest to returning. Kazmir threw five innings today and, unlike his injured peers, may not require a minor league rehab stint.
- Renowned surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache examined Gerrit Cole’s balky right elbow and found no ligament damage, bone spurs or bone chips, writes Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates ace had only inflammation in his elbow and is expected to return to the team before the regular season is over. Pirates athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk told Biertempfel that the direct source of Cole’s elbow discomfort isn’t known, though the possibility exists that an early-season rib injury led to some altered mechanics that brought about the pain. “I would say it’s tough to say that they’re not related,” said Cole of the rib injury, the triceps strain he suffered in June and the current elbow inflammation. “We do the same motion every time. Anytime that something causes you to alter that kind of thing, you run the risk of paying the price somewhere else.”
- Marlins lefty Adam Conley has been cleared by doctors to resume throwing and played catch Tuesday for the first time since going on the disabled list, per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Barring any further setbacks in his recovery from tendinitis in his left middle finger, he could return to the Miami rotation in three weeks, Frisaro adds. Furthermore, he writes, lefty Wei-Yin Chen is progressing through a throwing program as he rehabs an elbow strain and is also a possibility for a late-September return. Getting either southpaw back would be a boon to a Marlins rotation that is trying to keep the team afloat in the Wild Card hunt. Miami dropped its fourth straight game today but is still a very manageable 3.5 games back from the second Wild Card spot in the National League.