With spring training games taking place the season is right around the corner. There have been a lot of headlines surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates. The biggest surprise to many has been Juan Nicasio. The rotation has two spots to fill and three people fighting for the start. I love it!
So far this spring training Nicasio has been lights out. He had an impressive outing against the Orioles striking out 10 in only 4 innings of work. Yesterday he help to shut out the Twins by striking out 8 over 5 innings. He has pitched extremely well and if the season started today would most likely find himself slated in the rotation.
Nicasio comes to Pittsburgh after spending last year with the Dodgers. He worked out of the bullpen last year with constituency and success. He put together a 4 year career for Colorado Rockies. He was a starting pitcher for one whole season in 2013. Nicasio finished 9-9 in 2013 with 119 strikeouts and pitched for 157 innings. 2013 was the biggest year for Nicasio before going back and forth with the bullpen and being a starter.
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With what looks like a Cole, Liriano, Niese top half of the rotation, Nicasio would fit in well in the fourth spot. We know the inconsistency of Jeff Locke over the years and finally it is time for him to go. Ryan Vogelsong is going to bring all he has to the table. With his major league career nearly over, he should be lights out and pitching the best that he can. This is the only reason why I take Vogelsong over Locke.
The last two spots in the rotation are still up for grabs. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out. As with any season, we can expect injuries or changes as the season goes on. Vogelsong was signed to help the rotation but it isn’t guaranteed he has a starting spot. Nicasio has really showed up and pitched well.
12 days till opening day!