Juan Nicasio’s recovery from a broken neck has gone so well that he “will have no limitations this spring,” according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy told Renck that Nicasio “has a very, very good chance to be a member of our rotation” and “is coming into camp with the mindset that he’s making the team.”
Colorado has plenty of young rotation options, so Nicasio will definitely have to pitch his way into a starting role, but the fact that he’s simply in the mix is pretty remarkable just seven months after a line drive to the head left him with a fractured C-1 vertebrae.
Prior to the scary injury Nicasio made 13 starts with a 4.14 ERA and 58/18 K/BB ratio in 72 innings as a 24-year-old rookie making the jump directly from Double-A, and his minor-league track record includes a 3.40 ERA and fantastic 467/104 K/BB ratio in 471 innings.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.