Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Catching Up with Nicasio Far from Simple Matter

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Catching Up with Nicasio Far from Simple Matter

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS - Here's hoping Juan Nicasio stayed current on his frequent-flyer status. The right-hander met the Philadelphia Phillies, who claimed him from the Pirates Aug. 31 off outright waivers, in Miami. He went from there to New York. When the St. Louis Cardinals traded for him Wednesday, he met them in San Diego, and arrived in St. Louis before the Cardinals' weekend series with the Pirates around 4:30 a.m. Friday.

"I had to travel a lot but I'm really happy to be here, and especially happy [with] the position that this team is in," Nicasio said in Spanish through an interpreter.

The Cardinals trail the Chicago Cubs by five games in the National League Central Division, but they are only three back of the Colorado Rockies, who hold the second wild-card spot. Nicasio is ineligible for the playoffs should the Cardinals make it, but he can help them get there.

"The mentality has to shift a little bit when you're coming into a team that's already established like the Cardinals and now you're in the postseason race," Nicasio said. "You realize that they really need you and I need to be on my top game."

The Cardinals could use the help. Seung Hwan Oh has moved in and out of the closer's role and Trevor Rosenthal had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. So they sent minor league second baseman Eliezer Alvarez to the Phillies for Nicasio.

The Phillies claimed Nicasio after the Pirates revoked trade waivers when the Chicago Cubs claimed him in a series between the Pirates and Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Pirates put Nicasio on outright waivers hoping an American League team would claim him, but the Phillies, the team with the first crack, snagged him.

"It was a little bit surprising, because I had been there for two years, and my pitching was great," Nicasio said. "Yes, it was surprising, but baseball, at the end of the day, there's a business side to it, and the reality is that next season I'll be a free agent."


Jameson Taillon will skip his next turn in the rotation, manager Clint Hurdle said Friday, as the Pirates attempt to correct some of the issues that have led to his poor second half.

Hurdle said Taillon's replacement for a game Tuesday against the Brewers in Milwaukee had not yet been determined. …

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