Vizcaino nearing return to Braves bullpen

Pitcher's PED suspension concludes at end of Friday's game

Vizcaino nearing return to Braves bullpen

ATLANTA -- Arodys Vizcaino could join the Braves bullpen within the next few days.

Triple-A Gwinnett activated Vizcaino Friday after he completed a rehab assignment, but with Atlanta playing its 80th game of the season Friday against the Phillies, he could join Atlanta as soon as Saturday, although he's thrown just seven innings this season at or below the Double-A level.

Vizcaino was issued an 80-game suspension in April after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol. The Braves completed their 80th game, a 2-1 win over the Phillies.

If Vizcaino throws well with Gwinnett, he could be brought up within the next few days to help a bullpen that has posted the second-worst ERA (4.24) in the National League behind only the Rockies.

With Class A Rome and Double-A Mississippi, Vizcaino has struck out 11 batters and walked two while posting a 3.86 ERA (three earned runs allowed). Before the season, MLB.com ranked Vizcaino as the No. 15 Braves prospect, and he was a candidate to join Atlanta's bullpen out of Spring Training.

Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.