Mariners reliever Juan Nicasio won’t return to the mound in 2018, per club manager Scott Servais. The right-hander has been dealing with bone chips and inflammation in his right knee and is expected to undergo surgery in the near future, making his chance of returning to the team all but impossible in 2018.
Nicasio, 31, missed nearly five weeks on the 10-day disabled list after dealing with a recurring case of knee inflammation. He posted a career-worst 6.00 ERA through 42 innings, though both Servais and MLB.com’s Jake Rill pointed out that some of his disappointing numbers have been exacerbated by an extreme bout of unluckiness as well. He also maintained a 1.1 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 over the course of the season, both career-best marks in their respective categories.
It also bodes well for Nicasio that this isn’t an invasive surgery. Assuming all goes well during the procedure, he should have plenty of time to make a full recovery by spring training in 2019. The righty is still owed the remainder of his $7.5 million salary in 2018 and stands to make another $9 million in 2019 before entering free agency.