Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Relievers That Still Could be Traded

Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates /

Juan Nicasio

Juan Nicasio was brought in last year on a one year and three million dollar deal.  He earned that after converting to the bullpen with the Dodgers in 2015.  When the Bucs brought him in, the intent was to use him as a multi-inning reliever for the 2016 season.  Because of that, they wanted to stretch out Nicasio in spring training to build up his arm.  In Spring Training, Nicasio impressed in his extended appearances and earned himself a spot in the opening day rotation. Nicasio impressed right away when he threw six innings, giving up one run, and striking out seven. This got fans really excited as he seemed to carry his success from Sspring to the regular season. It was especially exciting to see him do it against the division rival St. Louis Cardinals.

Nicasio remained in the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation for 12 starts.  He did not have much success there.  His earned run average was over five as a starter, and eventually he was put into the bullpen, as was originally planned.  Nicasio found a lot more success there.  In fact, he had at least one strikeout in 31 straight appearances, a Pirate record, and the most in the majors since Chapman did it 37 times in 2014.  Nicasio transitioned from starter to multi-inning reliever, and helped turn his season around.