Mets minor league deal #5: Arodys Vizcaino
The last minor league deal that could work out well for the Mets highlights another pitcher who the team is familiar with.
Arodys Vizcaino was another promising pitcher whose career got broadsided by a major shoulder injury. Before he suffered the injury, Vizcaino deployed one of the best sliders in the game. In 2018, which was his last healthy season, Vizcaino posted a whiff% of 56.4% with his slider, which allowed him to rack up the strikeouts at an above-average rate. With that same pitch, Vizcaino also held batters to a .111 average and .200 slugging percentage, one of the best marks for a reliever in the major leagues.
How his slider looks will determine Vizcaino’s chances of seeing playing time in the majors this upcoming season. Like Eickhoff, Vizcaino has a checkered injury history, which makes his potential return to the big leagues dependent on his health. During his big league career, he has only averaged 27 innings of work per season, which is solid evidence why teams would be reluctant to sign him. Durability is a valuable trait teams are seeking, and Vizcaino is the antithesis of durable.
Vizcaino emerged onto the major league field with the Atlanta Braves, serving a key role in their bullpen for several years. When he was healthy and productive, Vizcaino was one of the Braves’ bullpen anchors. He made a living off of fooling batters with his nasty slider. The Mets are giving him a chance to show them that he put his injury history in the past and that he could provide the Mets with some needed insurance in the bullpen.
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