One of the Atlanta Braves "Big-Four" pitching prospects, Arodys Vizcaino, is out for the rest of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery this morning to repair a torn ligament. Vizcaino has not pitched since the first week of spring training games due to elbow tenderness. It was reported five days ago that he was going to visit Dr. James Andrews to determine if the ligament in his elbow would need Tommy John surgery or not.
This morning the news is that he had the surgery earlier today. The hope is that he will recover normally and be ready at this time next year, but he will definitely be out of action for the 2012 season.
Vizcaino was considered a frontrunner for one of the open bullpen spots in Atlanta when spring training began, but his spot will likely now be taken by Cory Gearrin, who is having a good spring. This injury may also push Kris Medlen from the rotation to the bullpen as an additional setup reliever, a role Vizcaino was expected to hold down this year.
Vizzy had a Tommy John scare last year, when he was diagnosed with elbow tenderness and inflammation, but instead of surgery he was allowed to rest for several weeks. That seemed to work, as he returned from that stint on the disabled list, converted from a starter to a reliever, and was able to help the Braves down the stretch in the bullpen.