Juan Nicasio came back from a broken neck to reclaim his spot in the Rockies’ rotation, but now a knee injury has sent him to the disabled list.
Last season Nicasio was struck on the side of the head by a line drive on August 5 and Saturday while moving out of the way of another liner back up the middle the 25-year-old right-hander twisted his leg.
He was able to limp off the field under his own power, but the Rockies will send Nicasio for an MRI exam anyway and wasted little time placing him on the DL with what they’re calling a left knee strain.
Because of off days on the schedule the Rockies could simply skip Nicasio’s turn in the rotation a couple times while hoping he can return after the minimum 15 days. His 5.28 ERA isn’t pretty, but considering what Nicasio had to come back from his 54/22 K/BB ratio in 58 innings is encouraging.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.