The Braves’ bullpen has been struggling as of late to say the least. Arodys Vizcaino has an ailing shoulder, Dan Winkler has had some rough outings lately, and it feels like every time Sam Freeman and Peter Moylan take the mound that the game turns into a bit of an adventure. That is not to say that the bullpen has been completely awful, but one would struggle to argue that, as a unit, they are a strength of the team as they currently sport a 4.07 ERA and 3.81 FIP during a very up and down season for them.
For the first couple of months of the season, the Braves had been evaluating in house options that were already on the 40 man roster. Jesse Biddle is a notable addition to the relief corps from the minors, but for the most part the team has been utilizing the Gwinnett shuttle to move guys already on the 40 man back and forth from Triple-A to see who can stick.
For the moment at least, it appears that Atlanta is moving away from the that and giving a high ceiling (but risky) relief arm a shot.
Braves make Phillips promotion official. Vizcaino to 10-day DL with right shoulder inflammation.— Gabe Burns (@GabeBurnsAJC) June 24, 2018
Evan Phillips is a fascinating player, because when he is on there is no question that he has a major league arm. He is has a high octane fastball and hitters struggle to pick up his pitches, however he also has a history of struggling to find the strike zone. Phillips is in the middle of really strong breakout campaign in the minors with 50 strikeouts in 35 innings to go along with 14 walks and 2.31 ERA for Gwinnett. It is worth mentioning again that he is coming off a 2017 season that saw him walk 34 batters in 51.1 innings, but he has looked much better this season.
In a corresponding move, the Braves placed Arodys Vizcaino on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Viz has been unavailable the last couple of games with soreness in that shoulder and it appears that the Braves want to give it some real time to rest and get treatment instead of just managing the situation day to day. Vizcaino has posted a 1.82 ERA and 3.17 FIP in 30 appearances in 2018.