Cubs Notes: Arodys Vizcaino impresses

MESA, Ariz – The Chicago Cubs' 10th-ranked prospect by both ESPN.com and Baseball America, pitcher Arodys Vizcaino, is progressing on pace after throwing a live batting practice session Saturday.

“He looked very, very good,” manager Rick Renteria said afterward. “We were very pleased with his session. Very sharp. Live fastball. Was hitting his spots, burying his pitches when he needed to.”

Vizcaino is coming back from missing two years on the mound after undergoing Tommy John surgery and then experiencing bone chips in his elbow. Before he went down he was considered a top prospect with the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves organizations. Despite the time off, his arm looks to have plenty of life early in camp.

“I feel good,” Vizcaino said as he walked off the field after throwing. “Real good.”

Renteria was cautiously optimistic, reiterating that it’s all about how a pitcher coming off an injury feels the day after throwing, but, so far, so good, for the hard-thrower.

“No setbacks,” Renteria said.

Vizcaino is slated for middle relief provided he makes the team.

Bryant impressing: Teammates of No. 2 overall pick, Kris Bryant, are starting to see why he was taken so high in the draft last June.

“From what I’ve heard and what I’ve seen, the kid is going to be amazing,” veteran Carlos Villanueva said. “He reminds me of (Ryan) Braun that first year. The kid was tall and skinny, but he could hit. That was before all the drama. He had a confidence. Bryant has that from what I’ve seen so far.”

Bryant hit several batting practice home runs Saturday but says he’s still adjusting to the sessions against Cubs pitchers.

Renteria to throw BP: Though still just a few months removed from hip surgery, Renteria says he’ll throw batting practice as often as he can.

“I’m going to throw BP as long as they let me,” he said. “I probably won’t do it every day. I do get a little sore.”

Renteria threw to hitters Saturday, but things didn’t go as well as planned – but not because of health reasons.

“I just have to throw strikes,” Renteria said. “I threw a lot of balls today. Usually I have one or two; today I had 10 or 11. That’s not good.”

Also: Pitcher Jake Arrieta threw off flat ground from 90 feet as he recovers from shoulder stiffness, though Renteria says he has “quite a bit to go” before he gets back on a mound. ... Nate Schierholtz returned to practice one day after leaving early after colliding with teammate Junior Lake during outfield drills.