The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed reliever Juan Nicasio on irrevocable outright waivers. These are not the trade waivers you hear about so much in August, from which a player can be pulled back if claimed. On this sort of waiver move, once a team claims Nicasio, he’s theirs, for nothing but his current salary, which is a prorated $600,00o or just above the league minimum.
While outrighting someone who stinks is fairly common, Nicasio does not stink. Indeed, he’s been a pretty darn good reliever this year, posting 2.85 ERA and 60/18 K/BB ratio through 60 innings. Closer Felipe Rivero is the only reliever on the Pirates who has had a better season, in fact.
Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted that it’s an odd move and asked the Pirates for comment. This is what he got:
“The waiver process — if enacted — is supposed to be a confidential process until it reaches conclusion,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a text message. “If there is something to report at that time — it will be reported.”
The mystery deepens. Until told otherwise, I’m gonna assume that Nicasio was asked to house sit for Huntington on the condition that he have NO WILD PARTIES. He threw a kegger, though, and Huntington’s prize Faberge egg was destroyed. Now he’s gone. Yep, that’s probably it.
The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.
Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.
With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.
Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.
Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.
Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.