The Colorado Rockies made it a clean sweep, signing all four of their arbitration eligible players. That list included relief pitchers Wilton Lopez and Franklin Morales, newly-acquired outfielder Drew Stubbs, and starting pitcher Juan Nicasio.
The Rockies will pay Nicasio, age 27, $2.025 million in 2014:
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 17, 2014
Nicasio is probably best know for a scary incident in which a comeback line drive hit him in the head in 2011. In terms of his pitching career, he has slotted into the back of the Rockies’ rotation by default the last few seasons.
Injuries cost him a lot of time in 2012 as well (this time knee troubles). In 2013 he finally stayed relatively healthy, making 31 starts for the team. He went 9-9 with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.471 WHIP. In a lot of those appearances he hurt himself with walks more than the other team hurt him by hitting the ball hard.
Looking ahead to 2014, Nicasio faces stiffer competition for his rotation spot. The Rockies traded for Jordan Lyles and Morales to compete for a spot, and they have youngster Eddie Butler knocking the door down. This year Nicasio will have to earn his spot. His best route to do so is to improve his 1.82 K/BB mark from last season.
Nicasio still has a high ceiling, so the Rockies are getting a decent value at $2.025 million for a season in which he may or may not earn a spot in the starting rotation.