Just when the Angels’ bullpen was showing some signs of getting its act together LaTroy Hawkins suffered a broken right pinkie finger closing out Sunday’s win.
Hawkins, who was only in the game because closer Scott Downs tweaked his knee earlier in the ninth inning, is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
To take his spot on the roster and in the bullpen the Angels called up David Pauley, but he’ll work a middle relief role and Hawkins will be missed in the late innings after posting a 1.08 ERA through 10 appearances.
The good news for the Angels is that Downs is hoping to avoid the disabled list and is currently listed as day-to-day with a bruised knee after an MRI exam showed no major damage.
The Braves placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, per a team announcement on Sunday. The assignment is retroactive to June 21. While the right-hander will be eligible to return to the team within the week, it’s not clear yet how long his recovery will take.
Vizcaino, 27, has already been sidelined a week after experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder. While he was treated with a cortisone injection earlier this month, it doesn’t appear to have had the effect the Braves were hoping for. The injury derailed what has otherwise been a productive season for the right-hander: Through his first 30 appearances, he logged 15 saves with a 1.82 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 10.0 SO/9 over 29 2/3 innings. Per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, the club is prepared to give more closing duties to rookie left-hander A.J. Minter as Vizcaino takes some time to recover, though it seems conceivable that the up-and-coming Evan Phillips will earn a few looks in the spot as well.
In corresponding moves, infielder Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment and right-hander Phillips was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. The 23-year-old righty is poised to make his major league debut after four years in the Braves’ system. He currently sports a 2.31 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 12.9 SO/9 through 35 innings at the Triple-A level this season.