LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Arodys Vizcaino was rushed to the big leagues for the final two months of the 2011 season, but as the Braves prepare for a new year and evaluate what is best for his development, they are not yet guaranteeing that he will begin the season in Atlanta.
"There's an opportunity there," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "If he pitches good enough and he can make us better and we can get him enough innings, why not?"
Vizcaino possesses a fastball that has been routinely clocked around 95 mph and an effective slider that will become even more of a weapon when he finds more consistency with the pitch. The 21-year-old right-hander is also working to add a changeup to his arsenal.
"He's got great stuff," Braves catcher Brian McCann said. "It's just a matter of throwing it where you want to."
Five of the nine runs Vizcaino allowed in the 17 2/3 innings completed in the Majors last year were surrendered during a Sept. 2 outing against the Dodgers. He struggled to keep opponents off base in each of the seven appearances that followed to close the season. But before that Dodgers appearance, Vizcaino had limited opponents to a .086 batting average and .220 on-base percentage.