Reliever Vizcaino suspended for 80 games

Reliever Vizcaino suspended for 80 games

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Braves right-handed reliever Arodys Vizcaino has received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Vizcaino, ranked 15th among Braves prospects according to MLB.com, was a candidate for Atlanta's bullpen before being optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett's roster earlier this week. His suspension will cover the first 80 games of the upcoming season.

"We're obviously very disappointed with what has transpired," Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said. "Hopefully he's going to be able to use this time to reflect and prepare for when he returns to play."

When the Braves reacquired Vizcaino from the Cubs in exchange for Tommy La Stella in November, they were hoping that the strong-armed reliever would further distance himself from the struggles he has encountered since undergoing Tommy John surgery before the start of the 2012 season.

But despite still needing to fill at least two bullpen spots, the Braves ended Vizcaino's candidacy after watching him allow eight earned runs, surrender nine hits and issue eight walks through eight Grapefruit League innings.

Vizcaino became a top prospect in Atlanta's system when the Braves acquired him from the Yankees before the start of the 2010 season. The young hurler joined Atlanta's bullpen late in the 2011 season and then underwent surgery before being traded to the Cubs on July 30, 2012.

Lingering elbow discomfort forced Vizcaino to miss all of the 2013 season. He produced a 3.40 ERA while combining to make 40 appearances at three Minor League levels last year before making five September appearances with Chicago.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.