The Cubs don’t look at Arodys Vizcaino as the answer to their bullpen problems.
The Cubs promoted Vizcaino to Double-A Tennessee but will keep monitoring the 23-year-old right-hander with 100 mph velocity. Vizcaino had once been one of the top prospects in the Atlanta Braves organization before undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2012.
“We’ll move with some caution,” general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday at Wrigley Field. “He had two years being away from a mound and I still think we want to give him a lot of mound time before he gets up here with a third deck and the pressure.
“We have some ability to do some teaching at the lower levels – or mid-levels – without that third deck and the radar guns up there and everything like that. We’ll still have some caution – of course we will – but it’s definitely a step in the right direction for him and I think he’s earned it.”
Vizcaino allowed only one run in nine innings at advanced Class-A Daytona, notching 10 strikeouts and showing the stuff that allowed him to rocket through Atlanta’s system in 2011, dominating three levels before making his big-league debut that August.
At some point this summer, the Cubs would ideally like to see Vizcaino at Wrigley Field. He could become a weapon for a bullpen that’s gone 4-for-8 in save opportunities and help a team that’s lost six one-run games and three in extra innings.
“In some ways, we’ve given (manager Rick Renteria) a challenging deck to go through,” Hoyer said. “We have a lot of talent down there. I think the stuff coming out of the bullpen is a lot different than it has been over the last couple years. But at the same time, we got some young guys that aren’t necessarily used to being in bullpen roles that we have to be sort of cautious with. It’s sort of a puzzle you got to put together on a daily basis.”