The Atlanta Braves have announced that closer Arodys Vizcaíno has opted for season-ending right shoulder surgery. Vizcaíno elected to have the surgery to clean up his labrum and to remove scar tissue from his right shoulder joint.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 17, 2019
Arodys Vizcaíno Opts for Season-Ending Surgery
A Tough Blow for the Pen
The injury bug keeps biting the Braves bullpen as Vizcaíno will join Jonny Venters and Darren O’Day on the IL. With Vizcaíno out, a relieving core that has already had their fair amount of struggles will now be without one of their top late-inning arms.
Players like A.J. Minter, Wes Parsons, Shane Carle, Luke Jackson, and Jesse Biddle will have to step up in order to right the ship. The Braves relievers currently hold a 5.43 ERA and rank fifth in walks allowed. This puts them at 27th in walk rate — something that will have to change if Atlanta is looking to repeat as NL East champs.
Craig Kimbrel Time?
The Braves are in imminent need of a closer and with Minter struggling, it may finally be time to bring back former Braves All-Star Craig Kimbrel. Since the departure of Kimbrel in 2015, the Braves have had serious issues at the closer role, which has caused Braves Country to plead to the front office in hope of bringing their former closer back home. There was even a “WE-WANT-KIMBREL” chant after the relief core allowed seven runs in three innings to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, but to no avail, as Kimbrel remains unsigned.
Kimbrel obviously wouldn’t fix all the problems in the Braves bullpen, but adding a shutdown closer would add depth and be a much-needed upgrade. The Braves could decide to go the cheaper route and stick with Minter, but if he keeps struggling, expect the “Kimbrel to Atlanta” rumors to intensify.
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