Juan Nicasio “making remarkable progress” in recovery from broken neck

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Troy Renck of the Denver Post has an update on Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio’s recovery from a broken neck and the news is very encouraging.

Renck writes that Nicasio “is making remarkable progress” and “has begun throwing off a mound for the first time since his injury.”

Nicasio suffered a fractured C-1 vertebrae when he was hit by a line drive on August 5, but the Rockies now seem optimistic about his chances of pitching next season with a metal plate permanently inserted into his neck.

“It’s a miracle. It really is,” general manager Dan O’Dowd told Renck. “I saw him in Arizona working out in the weight room, running and pitching. He looked just like any other player getting ready for the season.”

Rangers activate Elvis Andrus from disabled list

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The Rangers made a handful of roster moves on Monday, per the club’s executive VP of communications John Blake. Shortstop Elvis Andrus has been activated from the 60-day disabled list, pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock. Catcher Jose Trevino was optioned to Double-A Frisco. And yesterday, outfielder Ryan Rua was optioned to Round Rock.

The big news, of course, is the return of Andrus. He missed over two months of action after suffering a fractured right elbow on April 11 when he was hit by a 97 MPH fastball. Andrus had gotten off to a good start, batting .327/.426/.500 in 61 plate appearances.

Jurickson Profar handled shortstop while Andrus was out and did an adequate job. While his defense was subpar according to the metrics, he hit .243/.315/.456 across 267 trips to the plate. With Andrus back, Profar will likely slide back into a utility role for the Rangers.