Vizcaino, Carpenter join Braves' bullpen

Righties replace Masset and Eveland, who were designated for assignment

Vizcaino, Carpenter join Braves' bullpen

MILWAUKEE -- Arodys Vizcaino's return to Atlanta's bullpen was delayed by Spring Training struggles and the 80-game suspension that followed. But the once highly regarded prospect hopes to distance himself from his frustrations and make an impact as one of the newest members of the Braves' staff.

Vizcaino and fellow right-handed reliever David Carpenter were promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett to fill the bullpen spots that were vacated when Nick Masset and Dana Eveland were designated for assignment immediately after pitching in the decisive 10th inning of Sunday's loss to the Phillies.

"It feels great, I'm happy to be back with the team again," Vizcaino said through interpreter and Braves coaching assistant Horacio Ramirez.

While Braves fans might not be too familiar with Carpenter, many of them remember Vizcaino as the hot prospect who spent the final two months of the 2011 season in Atlanta's bullpen and then underwent Tommy John surgery before being traded to the Cubs the following July.

The Braves reacquired Vizcaino from the Cubs in November with the hope he would begin this season in their bullpen. But the shaky command he displayed during Spring Training led him to be placed on Gwinnett's roster before he was levied an 80-game suspension for testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

"It's an experience that happened," Vizcaino said. "I'm here now and I'm focusing on the now and the future."

Vizcaino spent most of the past three months working out at Atlanta's Spring Training facility in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. In the eight Minor League appearances he made after being cleared to begin a rehab stint June 18, the hard-throwing right-hander produced a 5.00 ERA and allowed opponents to produce a .317 on-base percentage. Four of the five earned runs he surrendered during this span came over the course of two games.

While Vizcaino made his first appearance for Gwinnett on Friday night, an American League scout clocked four of his fastballs at 100 mph. But an inconsistent breaking ball and command have been consistent issues for the 24-year-old reliever, who has12 walks and 21 strikeouts over 22 1/3 innings at the Major League level.

Carpenter has made just two big league appearances since posting a 4.76 ERA in 28 appearances for the Angels in 2012. The 27-year-old, who can make multi-inning appearances, posted a 0.73 ERA and limited opponents to a .173 batting average in 27 appearances for Gwinnett this year. He credits his improved control to the more aggressive approach preached by Gwinnett pitching coach Marty Reed.

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