Vizcaino (elbow) is headed to Dr. Andrews

CLEARWATER, Fla. — An appointment with Dr. James Andrews is almost never good news for a pitcher with an ailing elbow. Braves prospect Arodys Vizcaino has one scheduled for Monday.

The right-hander has been shut down nearly two weeks and was diagnosed with ulnar neuritis. The Braves will have Andrews examine him Monday to determine if there is there is more damage to the ulnar collateral ligament.

Vizcaino, 21, partially tore the ligament in 2010, an injury allowed to heal without surgery.

He missed nearly three months but returned at the end of that season.  He was back throwing 96 mph fastballs in a successful 2011 season, when he was promoted to the majors and spent the last two months in Atlanta’s bullpen.

A partially torn UCL can heal without surgery, although the success rate probably isn’t as high as it with ligament-transplant surgery, aka “Tommy John” surgery. The surgery requires a 12-14 month recovery.

“They can scar over,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said of the non-surgical healing process of a partially torn ligament. “But I think that’s why they need to further evaluate and see how much they think that could play into the sensitivity he has with the ulnar nerve now.”

Andrews is a leading specialist on elbows and ligament-transplant surgery.

Vizcaino last pitched in the Braves’ Grapefruit League opener April 3. The Braves hoped he would be a big part of their bullpen after showing flashes of his vast potential during a late-season callup in 2011.

Baseball America recently rated him the No. 1 prospect among relief pitchers.

The hard-throwing Dominican is one of the Braves’ trio of top Latin pitching prospects, with starters Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado. Scouts believe Vizcaino could be a standout in either a starting or relief role, provided he can stay healthy.

Vizcaino was brought to the majors in August and had 17 strikeouts in 17-1/3 innings. But after posting a 1.69 ERA and .086 opponents’ average in nine August appearances, he had a 9.45 ERA and .406 opponents’ average in eight September games.

28 comments Add your comment

northbeach Scott

March 15th, 2012
6:22 pm

Good luck, Arodys. If it is TJ surgery, better to know sooner than later and get ready for next ST. He has been on the cusp of needing this, so it might turn out to be a good thing.


March 15th, 2012
6:23 pm

Wow. More good news. Can never have enough pitching

Bat Masterson

March 15th, 2012
6:24 pm

Fish Bisch

March 15th, 2012
6:27 pm

Elbows own us :(


March 15th, 2012
6:27 pm

I hate it for the kid, he is a hard working young kid but he has to get right.

More rosy news for Braves fans. When does the hopelessness end? There is no hope.


March 15th, 2012
6:35 pm

Bummer, he’s been working his ass off this kid. If it is Tommy John’s then good luck to him


March 15th, 2012
6:50 pm

Good thing we still got options but I wanted to see him mo down some phil’s this year


March 15th, 2012
6:54 pm

Just great! Just great! More lousy news.

diving duck

March 15th, 2012
7:02 pm

San Diego Steve

March 15th, 2012
9:04 pm

I wish him the best. If it turns out to be bad news it is probably better to happen now at 21 than when he is 31. This has become so common of late it makes you wonder how pitchers back in the 40’s–60’s could always throw 9 innings every 4th game for years and never have the quantity of injuries as we see today.


March 15th, 2012
9:32 pm

This injury has always been common I’ve met some of the pitchers from the 60’s that had it. They became drug reps and insurance salesmen.

A-Ville Ranger

March 15th, 2012
9:58 pm

This pitching staff is talented but extremely fragile. I wouldn’t be surprised if every starter spends weeks or months on the DL this season.

Tip O' the Cap

March 15th, 2012
10:06 pm

Where would we be without Dr Andrews? He’s especially good in “The Sound of Music”. Oh, wait…

urban redneck

March 16th, 2012
8:23 am

i wish him the best as well………….but i also wish we had traded him in the offseason so this would be someone else’s problem.

Don in TN

March 16th, 2012
8:47 am

Good luck to the kid. Just curious, when a player has surgery, who pays? The team? the player? insurance?


March 16th, 2012
8:56 am

Vizcanio named by Baseball America as baseball’s NUMBER ONE PROSPECT for relief pitchers.
WHOOPS, I forgot he pitches for the Braves – so he has ALREADY BEEN INJURED.
And the List of Braves Pitchers who have been injured in the 6 or 7 years since Leo left as the Pitching Coach – goes ON and ON and ON and ON —————–


March 16th, 2012
9:46 am

I think every pitcher should get tommy john upfront. Might as well get it over with when you can control the situation better, than after you blew it out.


March 16th, 2012
10:04 am

Not too good… not too good at all


March 16th, 2012
2:18 pm

Shoulda traded him last year…Woulda been nice…Coulda have afforded to bring McOut back…Need his .195 average after seeing what Heyward has done to “improve” his swing.

Jeff Schultz

March 16th, 2012
2:21 pm

I agree Shoulda. Gotta go write another lame and uninformative column. No news Atlanta (MLB or NFL) makes it harder on hacks like me. Wait a minute…What’s that? The extended Jack Wilson’s contract for another 5 years at $30,000 per year? WOW! That’s huge! Way to go Frank Wren. Now I have a REAL story!

Jeff Schultz

March 16th, 2012
2:24 pm

No wait, THEY only extended his bathroom privledges. No money. Oh well, that’s still worth a lame column. Wait a minute, What’s that? The Falcons have decided to throw Abraham a going away party? At Chuck E Cheese no less? Awesome move Mr. Blank! You truly DO spare no expense. (Sigh…I hate this town. Wonder if Philly has any openings for a hack like me?)

Fredi Gone-Zalez

March 16th, 2012
2:26 pm

How DO I spell my last name? Anywho, we should have an EASY 15 wins before the All Start break so maybe I’ll get my extension. By then, we’ll be down to 1 regular starter as all the others’ elbows will explode and Uggy will be hitting .202 with 20 homers and 20 RBIs. Gotta get someone on base ahead of him somehow…


March 18th, 2012
11:04 am

Enter your comments here


March 18th, 2012
11:14 am

Good morning everyone


March 20th, 2012
1:21 pm

The comments left by urban redneck, ShouldaWouldaCoulda, and Jeff Shultz are the types of crackpot comments that make me love to be a Braves fan that reads these articles. Shoulda; “McOut???” I can’t even tell if their comments were serious or not, they were so inane.

Ricky Beavers

March 21st, 2012
9:25 am

seems like the “hard” throwing pitchers have more arm problems than “softer” throwing pitchers, remember Smoltz threw hard an was often injured but Maddux an Glavine didnt throw so hard as was never injured ???Just shows you dont have to have a 98 mph fast ball to get guys out, an Minor is proveing it this year to……


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