Todd Helton lands on disabled list with hip injury

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Todd Helton didn’t see improvement with his sore right hip during the All-Star break, so the Rockies placed him on the disabled list prior to last night’s game.

Helton was already playing sparingly in recent weeks, as the injury has contributed to his struggles at the plate. The Denver Post reports that he’s being sent for an MRI on the hip, after which there should be more clarity on a timetable for his return.

Helton, a .320 lifetime hitter, is batting just .235/.332/.398 with seven home runs, 34 RBI and a .730 OPS in 63 games played this season. As part of a renegotiated extension which was signed in March of 2010, the 38-year-old is making $4.9 million this season and $5 million in 2013.

Losing Helton might not be the worst thing for the Rockies’ offense at this point, as they now have the ability to play Michael Cuddyer at first base and the hot-hitting Tyler Colvin in the outfield.

Report: Mariners sign Juan Nicasio to a two-year deal

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mariners have signed pitcher Juan Nicasio to a two-year contract, pending a physical.

Nicasio, 31, spent last season with the Pirates, Phillies, and Cardinals, putting up an aggregate 2.61 ERA with a 72/20 K/BB ratio in 72 1/3 innings. He appeared in 76 games, leading the National League.

Nicasio will help bolster the Mariners’ bullpen behind closer Edwin Diaz. It’s not known exactly what role he’ll have but it seems reasonable to assume he’ll handle mostly the seventh inning while Nick Vincent will set up for Diaz. Nicasio does have plenty of starting experience so he could also spot start in a pinch.