The Braves have selected right-handed reliever Evan Phillips from Triple-A Gwinnett, Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. They’ll send closer Arodys Vizcaino to the disabled list (retroactive to June 21) to open up a 25-man spot for Phillips, Burns adds, and designate infielder Phil Gosselin for assignment to create 40-man space, per Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
Phillips, who joined the Braves as a 17th-round pick in 2015, is set to make his major league debut after opening the season in impressive fashion in the minors. Across 35 innings this season, the 23-year-old has pitched to a 2.31 ERA with 12.86 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 50.7 percent groundball rate. Phillips doesn’t rank among the Braves’ top 30 prospects at MLB.com or their 32 best farmhands at FanGraphs, though FG’s Eric Longenhagen wrote entering 2017 that his three-pitch mix “may work in middle relief.”
The Braves’ hope is that Phillips will help make up for the loss of Vizcaino, who has dealt with shoulder soreness throughout the season. Thanks in part to that, Vizcaino hasn’t pitched since last Sunday. When he has taken the hill, Vizcaino has continued to show off high-end velocity, helping him to convert 15 of 17 save opportunities and post a 1.82 ERA with 10.01 K/9 and 3.64 BB/9. A.J. Minter and Dan Winkler stand out as the Braves’ best ninth-inning possibilities while Vizcaino’s out, though his shoulder issues could also help push the playoff contenders to acquire veteran relief help prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Gosselin, 29, joined the Braves off waivers from the Reds on May 3. It’s his second stint as a member of the Braves, with whom he has hit just .125/.250/.250 in 28 plate appearances this year.