Arodys Vizciano to Have Tommy John Surgery

The recent spat of injury news continued this morning, when the Braves announced that RHP Arodys Vizcaino was undergoing Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2012 season. Vizciano was rated the #2 prospect in the Braves system by Marc Hulet, and despite being just 21-years-old, he was in the mix for a Major League job at some point in 2012. While the Braves certainly have the pitching depth to deal with not having him on the mound this year, this is still a blow to the organization.

And, while no decision will likely be made on this until after Vizcaino rehabs, there’s a decent chance that this answers the lingering “starter or reliever” question that has followed Vizciano around. His two-pitch repertoire and big time fastball suggested a career in the bullpen may be in his future, but the Braves continued to let him start in Double-A last season before having him pitch in relief in Triple-A and the Majors. Even putting aside any durability questions this injury raises – in conjunction with the elbow soreness he experienced in 2010, his long term health has to be a concern – the lost year of development probably tips the scales towards a career in relief. He’s a guy who needed as much time on the mound as possible to continue developing his repertoire if he was going to stick as a starter, but losing the entire 2012 season is going to make it difficult for the Braves to keep him in that role.

More likely, Vizciano will return to the mound next year and be told to just prepare for a career of 15 pitch outings. Hopefully, for his sake, that task proves less strenuous on his arm.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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Marc Hulet
Editor

Looking back at my 2010-11 Top 10 writeup on Vizcaino I said: The right-hander has a partially torn elbow ligament but has yet to undergo surgery. Tommy John surgery is probably a foregone conclusion but the organization will try and avoid it for as long as possible (although it might be best to take care of it at this point in his development).

JT
Guest
JT

At the time I wondered why they didn’t want him to go ahead and just have the TJ surgery. Sitting him for 1/2 season just seems like a total waste since he will now miss a full calendar year.

Greg
Guest
Greg

Perhaps the best way to say it is that the Yankees knew at the time he was an injury risk, which is why they were willing to trade him. Of course, if he didn’t get injured, or if he returns post-TJ with no problems, then it’s the Yankees loss. No one ever profits from a player’s injury, but certainly, it was something considered at the time.

Jack
Guest
Jack

Let’s not forget that the Yankees got Dante Bichette Jr. with the comp pick for letting Vazquez walk.

Bryan__from NZ
Guest
Bryan__from NZ

Good point about Bichette Jr.

The trade becomes Javy for 2010, Boone Logan, and Bichette Jr for Melky, Arodys, and Mike Dunn.

Not bad.

bstar
Guest
bstar

They KNEW he was an injury risk? That’s a bit of a stretch there.

jim
Guest
jim

bstar- he’d already had a partial UCL tear, so yes, they knew he was an injury risk

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