Juan Nicasio
Juan Nicasio
32-Year-Old PitcherRP
Seattle Mariners
60-Day DL
Injury Knee
Est. Return 3/1/2019
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Nicasio has found himself in the bullpen over the past few years since fizzling out as a starter with Colorado. While he didn't exactly post a gaudy strikeout rate last season (9.0 K/9), he did enough well in 76 appearances between Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and St. Louis to finish with a FIP below 3.00. A fastball-slider pitcher, he posted a 6.9 percent walk rate and allowed just five homers in 72.1 innings (45.6 percent groundball rate). He pumped in first-pitch strikes to 67.4 percent of the batters he faced and was smart about where he worked in the strike zone, limiting opposing hitters' chances to pull the ball (29.6 pull percentage). He's gained velocity working in shorter spurts and he fared well as the closer after joining the Cardinals late in the year. After signing with Seattle in the offseason, Nicasio should return to a setup role. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a two-year, $17 million contract with the Mariners in December of 2017.
Expected to be ready for spring training
PSeattle Mariners
Knee
September 10, 2018
Nicasio is in the early stages of recovering from a clean-up procedure on his knee and is expected to be ready for spring training, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The veteran reliever battled bone chips and swelling in his right knee on two separate occasions this season, finally opting for surgery to address the issue in late August. Nicasio flashed excellent strikeout upside and control in 2018 on his way to a 53:5 K:BB, but a trio of relief outings in which he allowed at least three earned runs helped lead to a 6.00 ERA.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-5%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-16%
BAA vs LHP
2017
 
 
-7%
BAA vs LHP
2016
 
 
-19%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .264 437 136 31 105 24 3 17
Since 2016vs Right .251 550 127 39 123 27 5 9
2018vs Left .278 75 30 1 20 5 0 3
2018vs Right .330 108 23 4 33 8 1 3
2017vs Left .208 129 44 6 25 5 1 1
2017vs Right .224 162 28 14 33 9 0 4
2016vs Left .291 233 62 24 60 14 2 13
2016vs Right .235 280 76 21 57 10 4 2
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-15%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-47%
ERA at Home
2017
Even Split
2016
 
 
-1%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 3.85 1.29 119.1 8 5 5 10.6 2.6 1.1
Since 2016Away 4.54 1.27 112.0 8 13 2 9.8 2.9 0.9
2018Home 4.30 1.13 23.0 0 1 0 13.3 0.8 2.0
2018Away 8.05 1.68 19.0 1 5 1 9.0 1.4 0.5
2017Home 2.61 1.16 38.0 2 2 5 9.7 2.4 0.7
2017Away 2.62 0.99 34.1 3 3 1 8.1 2.6 0.5
2016Home 4.47 1.44 58.1 6 2 0 10.0 3.4 1.1
2016Away 4.53 1.31 59.2 4 5 0 11.0 3.5 1.2
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Stat Review
How does Juan Nicasio compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
K/BB
10.60
 
K/9
11.4
 
BB/9
1.1
 
HR/9
1.3
 
Fastball
93.8 mph
 
ERA
6.00
 
WHIP
1.38
 
BABIP
.418
 
GB/FB
1.00
 
Strand %
57.7%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
As a starter, Nicasio lasted only 12 games, compiling a 5.05 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 63:25 K:BB in 62.1 innings. Opponents stacked lineups with left-handed batters, who slashed .291/.366/.568 in 233 plate appearances against him. A midseason move to the bullpen then salvaged some of Nicasio's season. As a reliever, he registered a 3.88 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 75:20 K:BB in 55.2 innings. He also set a franchise record by striking out at least one batter in 33 straight relief appearances, during which he compiled a 2.81 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and a whopping 73 strikeouts in 48 innings. Nicasio ranks behind Tony Watson, Dan Hudson and Felipe Rivero in the pecking order for saves, but he showed he has closer-like stuff.
Nicasio had an up-and-down season in Los Angeles last year. He struggled with his control to the tune of a 4.9 BB/9, and for the second straight year left-handed batters hit over .300 against him, a whopping .348. His 10.0 K/9 was certainly impressive enough, but he's not likely going to get lucky enough again to post a 2.0 HR/FB rate. He has been one of the darlings of spring training, fanning over a batter per inning while excelling at preventing runs, and it's possible that he is this year's Ray Searage reclamation success. First, he'll have to win a rotation spot.
With a fastball capable of touching the mid-90s, Nicasio has often tantalized with his gifts but has seen his productivity trend downward since his 2011 MLB debut. Though he was one of the few Rockies pitchers to avoid the DL last season, Nicasio was a complete mess at the back end of the rotation, yielding a 5.92 ERA and 15 home runs over 73 frames before the Rockies sent him to the minors. He returned to the majors in August and served in a relief role the rest of the way, where he found better results (3.48 ERA, 17:5 K:BB ratio over 20.2 innings). Alas, it wasn’t enough to convince the Rockies that they had a future bullpen ace on their hands, as he was traded to the Dodgers in November. Nicasio’s new team is hopeful the move away from Coors Field might be precisely what he needs to emerge as a useful fifth starter, but he’ll work in middle relief if he fails to claim a rotation spot in spring training.
After his previous two campaigns were besieged by injuries, Nicasio enjoyed a healthy 2013 season, but his habitual inconsistency resulted in disappointing returns. Erratic command of the strike zone often mounted Nicasio’s pitch counts early on in games, limiting him to just nine quality starts in his 31 turns. As one might expect from his failure to work deep in games, Nicasio’s walk rate spiked to a career-worst (9.1 percent), while his strikeout rate also bottomed out at 16.9 percent, the latter of which may have been influenced by a two mile-per-hour decline in his fastball velocity. With Nicasio no longer an enigma after finally completing a full season in the majors and his rate stats headed in the wrong direction, it’s difficult to be bullish on the 27-year-old’s prospects at this point. Nicasio will almost certainly claim the No. 4 or 5 rotation spot coming out of the spring, but he seems a prime candidate to get pushed to long relief once some of the Rockies’ more promising younger pitchers are ready for the big leagues.
Nicasio's 2012 season was marred by bad luck in both performance and health. After opening the year in the Colorado rotation, Nicasio's campaign came to an end after he required season-ending surgery to remove four bone chips from his knee. When he was on the mound, he was hit around with regularity, resulting in a 1.62 WHIP. However, aside from a rise in walk rate, most of Nicasio's peripherals argue that he actually took a step forward, as his strikeout rate ticked up (8.4 K/9) despite giving up an inordinate amount of hits, as his .378 BABIP suggests. Nicasio recovered from knee surgery quickly enough to pitch in fall instructional and winter leagues, allowing him to regain some lost innings and sufficiently prepare for 2013. Now fully healthy, Nicasio could very well emerge as one of the team's better starters, assuming his walk rate and batting average against fall more in line with his career norms.
Nicasio's season ended in a very scary incident on the mound as a line drive that hit him in the head ultimately required surgery to repair a fracture to the C1 vertebra in his neck. Initially, there were questions as to whether Nicasio would pitch again, but the offseason reports about his progress have been very encouraging as he shed his brace in late September, was throwing from a mound in October and started taking full bullpen sessions in the Dominican Republic in November. Nicasio showed excellent control throughout his time in the minors, while his success during a 13-start stint with Colorado before the injury (7.28 K/9IP, 2.26 BB/9IP) should open up an opportunity for him coming out of spring training assuming that he's back to full health.
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Transferred to 60-day DL
PSeattle Mariners
Knee
August 29, 2018
Nicasio (knee) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Opts for season-ending surgery
PSeattle Mariners
Knee
August 26, 2018
Nicasio is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his right knee in the upcoming days, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
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Still unsure of path forward
PSeattle Mariners
Knee
August 22, 2018
Nicasio (knee) remains unsure of whether he'll have surgery to repair bone chips and inflammation in his right knee or wait until after the season for the procedure, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
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Getting second opinion
PSeattle Mariners
Knee
August 21, 2018
Nicasio (knee) was slated to get a second opinion on his inflamed right knee Monday, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
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No firm timetable for return
PSeattle Mariners
Knee
August 4, 2018
Nicasio (knee), who went on the disabled list Friday, doesn't have a firm timetable for his return, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. "I don't know," manager Scott Servais said of a potential return. "Juan is frustrated. He hasn't felt good and wants to make it right. I certainly think he could come back and impact this year down the stretch, but I don't know."
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