One week removed from being hit in the head by a comebacker off the bat of Nationals’ shortstop Ian Desmond, Juan Nicasio continues to make progress.
Nicasio was released from the hospital earlier this week after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured vertebrae in his neck. He is currently “resting comfortably at home” and has been able to “eat and sleep regularly.”
The good news doesn’t stop there, though.
According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Rockies manager Jim Tracy is hopeful that Nicasio will be able to visit Coors Field next Monday when the team begins a nine-game homestand.
“I think there’s a chance he will be there. I talked with Juan Nicasio today,” Tracy said. “He told me that he would be ready in two weeks.”
Nicasio is obviously just kidding about the two week thing, but that he is able to have a sense of humor following such a scary incident is obviously an encouraging sign.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.