Juan Ramon Nicasio
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 190 lb.
Nicasio was signed by scouts Rolando Fernandez and Felix Feliz for the Colorado Rockies in 2006. He began his professional career that summer, pitching for the DSL Rockies and going 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in eight games (five starts). With the Casper Rockies in 2007, Nicasio went 0-3 with a 4.36 ERA in 13 games (eight starts). In 2008, he pitched for the Tri-City Dust Devils and went 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 12 starts, striking out 61 in 54 innings. He held opponents to a .229 average.
With the Asheville Tourists in 2009, Nicasio went 9-3 with a 2.41 ERA in 18 starts, striking out 115 batters and walking only 23 in 112 innings of work. He led the South Atlantic League in ERA, the first Colorado farmhand to do so since Mike Kusiewicz in 1995. He lost out Most Outstanding Pitcher honors in the SAL to Rudy Owens. Baseball America rated him Colorado's #16 prospect that off-season. He was added to Colorado's 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule V Draft.
He began the 2010 season with the Modesto Nuts.
Nicasio made his major league debut with the Rockies on May 28, 2011, starting against the St. Louis Cardinals. He was outstanding, pitching 7 scoreless innings and getting credit for the win as the Rox won, 15-4. On August 5th, he was hit by a line drive hit by the Washington Nationals' Ian Desmond; the ball hit the left side of Nicasio's head and caromed towards the first base line as Nicasio went down in a heap and stayed down. He had to be removed from the game and was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured vertebra in his neck and underwent surgery the next day. He was 4-4 at the time, with a 4.14 ERA, and did not pitch again that year.
Juan made a comeback at the start of the 2012 season. He struggled a bit in his first couple of starts, but on April 18th earned his first win of the season with 6 1/3 innings in an 8-4 win over the San Diego Padres.
Nicasio changed teams twice in the span of a week at the end of the 2017 season, which he had begun with the Pittsburgh Pirates, his second with the team. In 2016, he had gone 10-7, 4.50 in 52 games as a swingman, logging 12 starts and pitching a total of 118 innings. In 2017, he was used strictly as a reliever by the Bucs, going 2-5, 2.85 in 65 games and picking up 2 saves. He was leading the National League in games pitched at the time. In spite of that solid performance, he was placed on waivers on August 31st and claimed by the Philadelphia Phillies. He pitched twice for them, picking up a win and not giving up a run in 1 1/3 inning, then on September 6th was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in return for minor leaguer Eliezer Alvarez. In his first game with the Cards on September 8th, he recorded a save against his former team, the Pirates, in a 4-1 win. He went 2-0, 1.64 with 4 saves in 9 games for St. Louis, giving him a stat line of 5-5, 2.61, 6 saves and 72 strikeouts in 72 13 innings, in a National League-leading 76 games.
On December 20, 2017, Nicasio signed a free agent deal with the Seattle Mariners and his one season with the team, in 2018, was not a good one as his ERA rose to 6.00 in 46 games, and his record was just 1-6. After the season, he was one of a large group of veterans who were sent away in what amounted to a fire sale. He joined SS Jean Segura and fellow P James Pazos in heading to the Philadelphia Phillies in return for SS J.P. Crawford and 1B Carlos Santana on December 3rd.
- NL Games Pitched Leader (2017)