Juan Nicasio defied the odds this season by returning from a broken neck to make the Rockies’ starting rotation out of spring training. However, things haven’t exactly gone his way until this point.
Nicasio struggled to the tune of a disappointing 5.28 ERA through 11 starts before hitting the disabled list early last month with a strained left knee. The 25-year-old right-hander has already had the knee drained twice and now Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that he’ll undergo surgery on July 16 to remove a “floating body.”
Rockies manager Jim Tracy said the timetable for Nicasio’s return largely depends on whether doctors find other damage in the knee during surgery. Either way, he won’t be helping the struggling Rockies’ rotation in the near future.
Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon was released from his minor league deal with the Rangers on Saturday, MLB.com’s TR Sullivan reports. Despite his strong showing in spring training, Colon wasn’t considered a lock to make the Opening Day rotation. This may not be the end of his time with the team, however — according to multiple reports, the Rangers have expressed their desire to restructure a minor league deal with the right-hander and could work out an arrangement to keep him on as bullpen and Triple-A depth this season.
Colon, 44, is preparing for his 21st year in the majors. He split his 2017 campaign with the Braves and Twins, posting a cumulative 7-14 record in 28 starts and finishing the season with a 6.48 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 5.6 SO/9 in 143 innings. While those numbers were some of the worst he’d seen since 2009, the veteran righty made a compelling case in camp this spring, holding batters to six earned runs, four home runs, two walks and 10 strikeouts in 18 innings.
The Rangers are expected to open the season with a rotation comprised of Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Martin Perez. Perez is working his way back from an elbow injury in his non-throwing arm and is slated to miss his first start of the season, which would provide a brief window of opportunity for Colon when the Rangers hit the road in April.