The Los Angeles Dodgers gained a reliever Friday as Chris Hatcher was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list, but they also lost one, with Juan Nicasio getting placed on the 15-day DL due to a left abdominal strain.
Nicasio last pitched Aug. 9 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, which was his fourth consecutive scoreless appearance out of the bullpen. According to J.P. Hoornstra of LA Daily News, Nicasio felt discomfort throwing his fastball and when on the mound:
When I threw my fastball, it bothered me inside of my rib,” he said. “Every day I warm up, throw long toss. I feel normal. Today [Friday] too. In BP I threw long toss. When I try (to pitch) off the mound again, I feel 100 percent until the catcher goes down. I threw five pitches and it bothers me hard.”
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly confirmed after Friday’s win Nicasio was sent for an exam and explained the club’s decision to place the reliever on the DL. “He had an MRI and it didn’t show a whole lot,” Mattingly said.
“We’re in a situation where this is day five [since he last pitched] and we got three off days. It didn’t make any sense to try to wait four days without another guy, or three days and push him and then have a long-term thing.”
Nicasio has been a diamond in the rough for the Dodgers this season as they’ve endured inconsistency from multiple relievers. Mattingly acknowledged as much, adding Nicasio isn’t the reliever they’d like to lose to injury.
The 28-year-old right-hander has appeared in 38 games, including one start, and owns 3.06 ERA, 2.64 FIP and 1.30 WHIP. Nicasio also ranks third among Dodgers relievers in appearances and strikeouts (51).