St. Louis Cardinals: Cards add veteran right-handed pitcher

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 10: Juan Nicasio #12 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the eighth inning during the game against the Miami Marlins at PNC Park on June 10, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 10: Juan Nicasio #12 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the eighth inning during the game against the Miami Marlins at PNC Park on June 10, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they collected veteran right-handed pitcher, Juan Nicasio via trade.

Despite his becoming ineligible for postseason play, the St. Louis Cardinals welcomed Juan Nicasio to the fold today. News was released a little after noon on Wednesday that the veteran would be joining the Cardinals from the Phillies in exchange for minor league infielder Eliezer Alvarez.

Alvarez initially entered the season with high promise and praise but had fizzled this season. His minor league numbers across six season are attractive at .285/.360/.431 but those who have watched him play this season have noted that AA-ball was providing a challenge as he looked lost at the plate.

This isn’t to say that he would not recover from this, but the downturn in stats accompanied by his 40-man roster spot made him attractive to be moved by the St. Louis Cardinals. And so they did.

On Wednesday, the Cardinals swapped Alvarez for Nicasio to bolster the bullpen.

More from Redbird Rants

Nicasio, a 31-year-old right-handed pitcher, started 2017 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and appeared with them this season posting a 2.85 ERA across 60 innings. His numbers weren’t bad but he was somehow placed on waivers and subsequently claimed by Philadelphia.

In his time with Philadelphia, Nicasio appeared in only two games pitching 1.1 innings and surrendered zero hits and collected one strikeout to the four batters he faced while wearing the crest of the Phillies.

Moving beyond this year’s numbers, Nicasio owns a seven-year career ERA of 4.60 through 618.2 innings pitched. It must be noted here, however, that Nicasio’s first four seasons were with the Colorado Rockies in their hitter-friendly park. That is one tough place to pitch.

A look at his heat maps shows his pitching tendencies which illustrate his command but also indicate why his ERA was often high. Also of interest, Nicasio owns a career .321 BAbip for batters facing him. This too is exemplified in the heat maps below.


At any rate, the St. Louis Cardinals now have a veteran arm (albeit one who has not appeared in the postseason) for the pen. Could this addition add some stability and value to a weakened pen or will Nicasio only add to the confusion? Time will tell.

Next: Bangers and mash

Stick with us here at Redbird Rants as our St. Louis Cardinals push hard to find a way into October baseball. Thanks for reading and go Cardinals!