Nicasio Amazingly Back on the Mound

Despite a disappointing season for the Colorado Rockies in 2011, the club did have two pitchers not yet 25-year-olds with Adjusted-ERAs (ERA+) of 126 and 108. One was Jhoulys Chacin, 23, who racked up 194 innings and figures to be a pillar in the Rockies rotation for years. The other was Juan Nicasio, 24, who had a 2.22 ERA in nine starts at Double-A before making his MLB debut with the Rockies.

In the big leagues, Nicasio pitched to a 4.14 ERA and 3.65 FIP in 71.2 innings with the big club. His season ended on August 5th last year when an Ian Desmond comebacker struck him on the right Temple before he could react. Amazingly, less than six months after suffering a fractured vertebra in his neck that required surgery and a permanent metal plate in neck, Nicasio is back on the mound in the Dominican Republic. He's throwing in front on an L-screen still, but hopes to face live hitters without a screen sometime before spring training. 

Nicasio still has that last hurdle of defenselessly facing hitters remaining, but if he can overcome that and hold on to a spot in the Rockies rotation then he's going to be in consideration for the Comeback Player of the Year award. 

Rockies Digest Top Stories