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Cubs hope Vizcaino can move past injury

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MESA, Ariz. -- One of the pitchers the Cubs are eager to see this spring is Arodys Vizcaino, who has been slow coming back from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. On Saturday, Vizcaino threw his first side session, and manager Rick Renteria seemed impressed.

"The ball came out of his hand pretty easy," Renteria said of Vizcaino, acquired from the Braves in July 2012 in the Paul Maholm deal. "He stayed down in the zone pretty consistently in his 'pen today. He looked comfortable, very fit. I think he looked as good as we would want him to look at this point."

The Cubs do not want to put a timetable on Vizcaino's return, but he is projected for the bullpen when ready.

"Obviously, it's been a long road back," Renteria said of the right-hander, who pitched in the big leagues in 2011 but had a setback last season.

"He's got some skill," Renteria said. "The ball really comes out of his hand easily. His breaking pitches have some bite to them. Even as you're watching him work his bullpens, he has some presence on the mound. His demeanor is very professional."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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