Juan Nicasio Designated For Assignment

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The Colorado Rockies very well might have seen the last of Juan Nicasio, as the right-handed pitcher was designated for assignment this week as the team set its 40-man roster.

If this is the end of the Juan Nicasio era in Colorado, it feels decidedly incomplete.

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For the longest time, many among us wondered if Nicasio was better suited to be a reliever than a starter. Finally, at the end of 2014 ,we saw Nicasio out of the bullpen. In a so-so 19 game sample, Nicasio still mostly confirmed our suspicions that his hard fastball/slider combination was better suited for relief.

If nothing else, it seemed like we had seen enough to give Nicasio a shot at the bullpen in 2015. That made it quite surprising, then, that the Rockies designated Nicasio for assignment on Thursday, even if he did post a mediocre 5.36 ERA last season.

There are still technically be scenarios where Nicasio ends up with the Rockies, but they are highly unlikely. In the next 10 days, we will learn if Nicasio has been traded or claimed by another team. If not, he will likely hit free agency. Whatever the case might be, Nicasio’s upside is enough that he will find a new home.

The move made a spot for left-handed pitching prospect Tyler Anderson, who was added to the roster. As Bryan Kilpatrick at Purple Row notes, Nicasio is eligible for arbitration and due to make about $2.4 million next season.

At first glance, this move feels like a mistake. The Rockies need to seek cheap alternatives for their bullpen, and Nicasio offers upside that few others will because of his raw talent. To think that Nicasio made his big league debut just over three years ago, straight from Double-A, and now he has been DFA’ed, is truly hard to grasp.

Even though Nicasio has had plenty of second and third chances, this still feels premature. It still feels like there was a spot for Nicasio, but apparently the front office felt otherwise.

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