Nicasio: BEST STORY IN BASEBALL

As a child I thought it would be cool to be able to hear other people’s thoughts.  As an adult, I’m pretty sure I don’t want that responsibility, but when Juan Nicasio takes the mound today it will be very easy to read the mind of the crowd and I really hope I’m not disappointed in what I see.

It is quite fitting that Nicasio should take the mound today, a day reserved for the celebration of Easter, because it is not only a miracle that Juan is pitching today, it is an even bigger miracle that he is still alive!

The comeback shot from Ian Desmond  that broke Juan Nicasio’s neck, and  fractured his skull, happened last August 5th, just a short 8 months and 3 days ago.  This is the biggest story in baseball, not Pujols or Prince.  Not even Moyer, whom I completely respect and admire.  THIS is the story everyone should be talking about.  You should hear reports about how he suffered the same exact break (a shattered C-1 vertebrae) that put superman in a wheelchair.  That he not only was able to walk again, but he came to Spring Training able to pitch and pitch well!  And the very first time someone hit a ball up the middle, did he drop to the fetal position and start to shake?  Nope, he watched it go by and later remarked at how he held his breath for a bit and then got back to it.

So, how will I be able to read the mind of the crowd today?  Very simple, actually.  I’ll be able to know what they are thinking as Juan takes the field.  If they are on their feet, shouting and whistling for this incredible person that defied death, then I’ll know they are thinking exactly what I am thinking – that he truly is the biggest story in baseball.


 

Today’s Line-up:

1. Colvin
2. Pacheco
3. Gonzalez
4. Tulo
5. Giambi
6. Cuddyer
7. Rosario
8. Herrera
9. Nicasio

 

60 Comments

    • rockymountainhigh

      April 8, 2012

      Here we go with the Sunday lineup, the first of 20 consecutive Sunday losses.

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      April 8, 2012

      Let’s make Jackson’s our unofficial gathering place for the early birds (before 12:30pm Monday) and move over to Ed the Ump’s minibus by the Arch of Balls after 12:30. See u all Tomorrow my fellow RWOers.

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      April 8, 2012

      Impressive outing so far. I can see why he has potential to be the best starter this year. Impeccable command with good velocity.

      Reply
    • Alex Colfax

      April 8, 2012

      Jason Hammel has a no-hitter through seven innings for Orioles against Minnesota.

      Reply
    • Bob in WV

      April 8, 2012

      Listening to game in Sao Paulo. Hotel internet not fast enough for video. 🙁 I’ll be traveling across Brazil tomorrow. Hope all of you enjoy the home opener as much as I did the game in Houston Friday night.

      Rockymountainhigh, I still owe you that beer! I went to get you one and the beer lines were rediculous. I would have missed at least an inning. We shall meet again one day.

      Reply
    • Alex Colfax

      April 8, 2012

      No-hit bid ends for Hammel as Morneau hits leadoff double in eighth.

      Reply
    • Batgirl

      April 8, 2012

      I really think Nicasio is the real deal. The personal story aside (which is amazing), he has the skill to be the ace we are looking for (I have my doubts about Chacin, although I hope I’m wrong). I think the two standout pitchers for us this year will be Nicasio and Pomeranz. Throw a little DeLaRosa in the mix in June and we might just have ourselves more than a bridge year.
      My only quibble with today’s lineup is Herrera starting over Scutaro. I like Colvin in for Dex (I’ve never been a big Dex fan-if he doesn’t break out this year, he needs to go) and Pacheco needs his starts at third (I don’t see Nelson as a starter at all). I knew Todd would be rested and I’m glad Cuddy remains in right today. Giambi needs to earn his roster spot anyway.
      We need to win this one to return home for Opening Day with a series win!

      Reply
    • Sedin

      April 8, 2012

      I’m afraid Rosario may not see another fastball all season. He can be a huge factor as a hitter, but really needs to lay off breaking balls well off the plate.

      Reply
    • Neil

      April 8, 2012

      3rd base is going to be more of a problem than I thought…Brothers looked pretty rough today…

      Reply
    • Sedin

      April 8, 2012

      Pacheco made last out in top of 8th and is not a good defensive player at third. Is there any possible reason for Tracy not replacing him with Nelson, a far better defender? And it looks like it may cost the Rockies, and Nicasio, a win.

      Reply
      • Trip

        April 8, 2012

        Sedin, Giambi made the last out in the 8th and was replaced by Brothers. Defenders moved around from that, with Dex coming in to play center, etc.

        Reply
    • Alex Colfax

      April 8, 2012

      Tracy makes defensive substitutions at first and right but keeps Pacheco at third base and he makes fatal error on horrible throw. There was a slow runner (Carlos Lee) lumbering to first and any kind of decent throw gets him easily.

      Pacheco has almost no experience at third base (eight MLBB starts) and had made final out of eighth inning. Why was he still in the game?

      Reply
      • Bob K.

        April 8, 2012

        To me the better question is why is JT still the manager?

        Reply
        • Miketober

          April 8, 2012

          And we have Jimbo at the helm for the foreseeable future. 🙁

          Reply
      • Mike Raysfan

        April 8, 2012

        Because JT alleged last season he was only a half catcher (source:DP/Jim Armstrong) and was moved to 3rd. It’s crap. He is getting OJT for 3rd. Yes he does have a fair amount of experience at 2nd but not at the big league level.

        Reply
    • Alex Colfax

      April 8, 2012

      My mistake…Pacheco made an earlier out in the eighth, not the last one.

      Reply
    • Alex Colfax

      April 8, 2012

      After all the talk Friday of how Rox took advantage of Houston errors, these last two games were just the opposite.

      Great job by Nicasio, but what a disappointing loss!

      Reply
    • Cisco Kid

      April 8, 2012

      OK, let’s get the bunt counter started JD. With Cuddyer on 2nd and no outs, why not have Rosario bunt Cuddyer over to third? I just don’t get it.

      Reply
      • jeem

        April 9, 2012

        Hi Cisco. Off subject, just caught 1st glimpse of Pacheco (ref “visa” piece back in Feb). How embarassing! Looks like name should be “O’Brien!”

        Reply
        • jaredean

          April 9, 2012

          jeem, i’m pretty sure i didn’t understand a single thing you just typed! Think it’s time for a nap…

          Reply
        • jeem

          April 9, 2012

          Jaredean: really, really old news. Never mind.

          Reply
    • Neil

      April 8, 2012

      While some of the names have changed, the end result is the same…wonder why…

      Reply
    • rockymountainhigh

      April 8, 2012

      Its easy to put one or two plays under the microscope and blame them. The real problem is that the Rox offense has been anemic. All three games really. How many earned runs have we produced in the entire series that were not the result of HRs? Think it’s only one or two grand total over three game series.

      Reply
      • sdcarp

        April 8, 2012

        To me, this is the most accurate analysis of the situation. Why don’t we have 5-6 runs? If we do Pacheco’s error isn’t being talked about.

        Reply
    • Rocky

      April 8, 2012

      The Pacheco error aside, with brothers pitching did anyone here doubt he would blow another late game lead. Same brothers as last year, YIKES!

      Reply
    • milehimarc

      April 8, 2012

      Same Brothers as last year…we can only hope:
      Brothers allowed only a single run in his final 19 appearances out of the bullpen in 2011.
      Striking out 24 in 16 and a third innings.

      3 of the 5 outs he recorded in Houston were via the K;
      and a 2 out error victimized Rex and the entire team today.

      Reply
    • TJinPhoenix

      April 8, 2012

      At least I had a big chocolate bunny to eat to improve my mood after the game. Go get ’em tomorrow boys!

      Reply
    • Bill

      April 8, 2012

      I didn’t see or listen to either of the last two games so can only go on what I read and heard about it. But if I’m not mistaken yesterday’s 3rd baseman (Nelson) made an error as did today’s 3rd baseman (Pacheco). Obviously that hurt but there were already two men on and the next guy got a hit also. Can’t blame it all on the error.

      Rockies haven’t hit the ball well. That will change I’m sure. Pitching has been decent. Guthrie gets a win, Nicasio should have had a win. I didn’t see the game but was he tiring in the 7th? He only threw 83 pitches. Was this a case of over-managing by Tracy? Moyer didn’t pitch horrible. So what is considered the Rockies biggest weakness – starting pitching – has been ok. Hitting hasn’t been and defense has been sub-par. I think these will come around. My question has always been Jim Tracy.

      Reply
      • rockymountainhigh

        April 8, 2012

        i think it is over managing again. Nicasio was still going strong and dominant. I thought he should have continued another inning.

        Reply
        • sdcarp

          April 8, 2012

          I agreed with you earlier, but I disagree with this. I think Nicasio was beginning to lose command, most likely due to fatigue.

          Brothers’ is young, obviously still learning his way. Given this, he doesn’t need to be penciled in as the 8th inning guy. I was mildly surprised we didn’t see Belisle today, but I guess Shafer (lh) lead off the inning???

          One subtle thing that I did notice today at least twice, the Astros #8 hitter was able to “flip” the lineup, Herrera failed twice.

          Speaking of Herrera, Scutaro is a guy that needs to play about 155 games. It’s too early to be giving him a day off. Helton – yes, Fowler – yes ( Colvin needs to play some, he looks good ), but Scutaro – no.

          Reply
      • Mike Raysfan

        April 8, 2012

        Agreed Bill. Just to recap. Stewart may have had severe struggles at the plate but he could play 3rd base.

        Reply
      • jaredean

        April 8, 2012

        Bill, the error today did matter because it came with two outs – if Jordan makes the throw we are out of the inning and into the dugout still up 2 – 1, while Nelsons error was at the top of an inning setting up a 2 run home run…HR could have still happed, you never know if coming out of the stretch changes the pitch, but we for sure would have still been up going into the ninth with the lead if Jordan’s throw was on…he had time and a slow runner, just made a terrible/weak throw to first…

        Reply
    • egossage

      April 8, 2012

      Wow! We lost the opening series to probably the worst team in baseball! Not a good start to the season

      Reply
    • OrangeRocks

      April 8, 2012

      Really if the Rockies miss the playoffs by two games then the “infinite” JT managerial contract should be terminated at season’s end. Pom starts instead of Moyer (he is one of your 3 best starters) – Rox win yesterday, while the logical move was to replace Pacheco at third in that situation – JT screws up that one too. Should easily be 3-0 amd the Rox now have a losing record – I just don’t get J Tracy at all!!! Oh and I forgot to mention the Sunday lineup disaster.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 8, 2012

      Jim Tracy’s Sunday Lineup (non-regulars Colvin, Pacheco, Giambi, Rosario, Herrera):

      17 AB, 3 H, 3 BB (all Giambi), 5 K, 8 LOB, 1 Error (a big one).

      What a way to squander the start of the season against the worst team (really, nobody’s close) in baseball. I give Jim Tracy 1.5 losses all by himself with the inexplicable Jamey Moyer start yesterday and the even more inexplicable Sunday lineup (“resting” players who’ve played all of 2 games so far, with a scheduled day off on Tuesday).

      The other .5 goes to Dan O’Dowd for thinking he could somehow get away with the two headed Chridan Nelscheco monster at 3B. Get somebody, anybody, NOW, or just hand it to Arenado already. Really, it can’t get any worse. For this we absolutely coudn’t-wait-another-couple-months of baseball HAD to dump Ian Stewart? (Not off to a great start, but had a triple that was nearly a homer the other night as Jaredean pointed out, has an 830 OPS through the first weekend, and ZERO ERRORS.)

      I forgot. He wasn’t a professional/veteran hitter, unlike the guys who scored 4 runs in 2 games against the likes of Lucas Harrell and Bud Norris.

      Yeah, it’s already a rant. And a challenge, namely:

      I will bet Dan O’Dowd (Mitt Romney style) $10,000 that the combination of:

      Iannetta
      Stewart
      Smith

      Will outperform, by any accepted modern statistical measure (not batting average or RBIs), the combination of:

      Hernandez
      Nelson/Pacheco
      Cuddyer

      Reply
      • Cisco Kid

        April 8, 2012

        Ag, I’ll take that bet. One clarification, BA and RBI aren’t acceptable modern statical measures? Than what is? Another thing is when making comparisons, you also have to include Rosario.

        Reply
    • ProgMatinee

      April 8, 2012

      First off, the egregious mistake today was not only letting Pacheco play 3rd late in a tight game, but moving Cuddyer over to 1st instead of Todd. Tracy’s stubbornness and failure to recognize when he is over thinking kills us.

      Just play the best players as often as possible. When someone needs a day off, work it into an otherwise “on” day for the other 7 players. The idea that when 1 player needs a day off you might as well play 4 or 5 bench players is fucking idiotic. Pardon the language.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 8, 2012

      Well said, Prog.

      As for Helton: I think history (the last 5 years) suggests that you can’t really “save” Helton’s back by giving him the occasional day off. His back will be fine until one day it isn’t, no rhyme, no reason. Bottom line is it just can’t hold up to a 7-month (one month of spring training, 6 months of real baseball) season. If we’re lucky it lasts until the All Star Break or something, then he needs a month or 6 weeks off, then he can come back and finish up strong. So use him while he feels good, and use him up. One thing I’m pretty sure of: sitting Helton to save his back but having him take BP and swing the bat as a pinch hitter is really unlikely to do him any good. Yet that’s what Tracy does.

      A GM simply can’t allow Jim Tracy to keep certain players around since he’ll go way out of his way to use them. Jonny Herrera — why? And Dex ripped a single in his last at bat on Saturday; why not give him a shot to keep it going? Way to kill a guy’s momentum.

      Reply
    • pooter

      April 8, 2012

      It should be an absolute buzzsaw for a pitcher to go through cargo and tulo! Has not seemed that way yet. disappointing start to the season

      Reply
    • pooter

      April 8, 2012

      the rockies made the houston pitching look like cy young caliber rotation its gonna be tough going to the west this year they keep hitting like this

      Reply
    • DrRockies

      April 8, 2012

      back off the ledges everybody….we’re 3 games into 2012. Nobody ever won or lost the league in the first week…keep the faith even if we have blown an opportunity today…although I have a lot of sunday games this year and wonder if I am going to see bench baseball every getaway game…but I am not losing faith

      Go ROX!

      Reply
      • ProgMatinee

        April 8, 2012

        My issue here inst a solitary loss. We lose 70-80 no matter what. The issue is that today’s game is the first of many rubber games for the season. What in the past 3 years has shown that Tracy learns from his mistakes? I see this as a recurring theme for the year.

        Reply
      • Mike Raysfan

        April 9, 2012

        Steve, you know this is a button with me. I know the saying is “You Can’t Win the Division in April but You Can Lose It”. Why isn’t possible to lose it in the 1st week?

        Reply
    • ProgMatinee

      April 8, 2012

      The idea that Todd can’t come in and play 2 innings of defense because he “needs a day off” is laughable. Hopefully they follow him to the hotel roll and make sure he doesn’t have too solid a bowel movement. Otherwise he might, u know, strain himself.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 8, 2012

      Fielding-wise at 3B, I can’t really blame Nelson and Pacheco. Neither one has been given an opportunity to play the position at any level for any reasonable period of time. And that’s a mystery to me since the club was hell-bent on getting rid of Stewart since about May of last year, yet Pacheco continued to catch and Nelson continued to play SS for the Sky Sox.

      DJ LeMahieu is hitting the ball well in AAA now, but he’s also had a 3-error game already this year, so I’m guessing the LeMahieu era at 3B isn’t about to begin. So it’s Arenado or nothing, and even if Arenado tears it up at AA they may wait till June to bring him up based on arbitration clock issues.

      Which all brings me to my biggest fear: frustrated by the fielding mistakes by Nelson and Pacheco, the Rockies turn over 3B to Herrera until Arenado is ready, deciding that it’s better to suffer through his 650 OPS than to get a bit more offense and far riskier defense from the other guys. That could make sense in a weird way given how bad the options are, but I call that “giving up on 2012.”

      Reply
    • Mike Raysfan

      April 8, 2012

      I opted to just bite my tongue yesterday but today I was a little frustrated. I was shocked to see Cuddyer moved to 1st in the 3rd game of the season. I think Pacheco/Cuddyer at the corners may need a little more work. I readily admit though that so far Cuddyer has exceeded my expectations.

      I’m not sure I understand why the frustration over the Pomeranz/Moyer order.

      I will withhold judgment and just say we will know at lot after this 9 game homestand.

      Hammel looked like a superman today. The Dodgers finally lost a game. Right now I stand by the NL West picks I made during ST.

      Reply
    • Cesar Carvajal

      April 8, 2012

      Hi everyone!

      I’m very sad about the two last games. And sadly, neither did I watch them, especially this one about the huge comeback of Nicasio, his development from his broken neck to this start was so magnificent, that it should be honored with some award creation, because it’s truly inspiring (I don’t know if he qualifies as a comeback of the year in case his performance is good this season).

      I tried to purchase the MLB.TV package but had some problems with my credit card, honestly it’s the only way I have to watch most of Rockies game (This year is the first time that I’m going to buy it).

      About the next series, I’m sure the Rox will do better. Last year it was a huge start to finally crash early in the season. Hope it goes the other way, and after a low start, Rockies make themselves contenders in the traditionally even NL West.

      GO ROCKIES!

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      April 8, 2012

      Cisco, I left out Rosario because he’s not like the others — the decision was basically to replace Iannetta as the starting catcher with Hernandez, to replace Smith with Cuddyer, and to replace Stewart with, well, whoever they could find. So those are apples to apples comparisons. Stewart/Smith/Iannetta (unlike, say, Mark Ellis) were all guys under team control at reasonable salaries who could’ve been brought back. So those were pure O’Dowd preference (not money) decisions. So that’s why I limit it to them. When I say no BA or RBI, it’s just that we can’t really judge true performance by those measures. One guy can hit .240 with a .380 OBP and 20 HRs; another guy can hit .290 with a .330 OBP and 8 HRs. And RBIs are of course extremely dependent on opportunities and where a player bats in the order.

      My theme here — one that I know you get annoyed with — is that O’Dowd was chasing phantoms in the offseason. We saw zero “clutchiness” these last couple games, and really nothing in the way of “quality at bats” or “working the counts.” That’s supposedly why the old guys are gone and the new guys are in. So that’s what O’Dowd should be evaluated on: did his roster moves really make a positive difference? I always loved the John Wooden quote, “Never mistake activity with achievement.” O’Dowd was active as all heck this winter, but did he achieve a positive result? That team last year was basically the same team that won 90+ and made the playoffs the year before. It wasn’t like it was a bunch of hopeless losers.

      Reply
      • Cisco Kid

        April 8, 2012

        Ag, what annoys me is that even by your sabermetric standards you have to agree that 3 games is not much of a sample rate. It’s way to early for knee-jerk reaction. Why don’t we agree to reconvene this topic, say June 1st, and see how the aforementioned players are doing.

        Reply
      • jaredean

        April 9, 2012

        “We saw zero ‘clutchiness’ these last couple games, and really nothing in the way of ‘quality at bats’ or ‘working the counts’.”

        Really? What would you call Scutaro’s whole first day? The guy “worked” the count better than Stewart/Smith/Iannetta ever did…Iannetta could work a count pretty well, but Scutaro is the master…that is what the Red Sox preached to their batters – work counts and get the starting pitcher tired early…

        Reply
        • sdcarp

          April 9, 2012

          Your assessment with Scutaro is spot on, and is the reason he needs to sit maybe 5 days the entire season, not once a week. Scutaro was part of all those Yankees/Red Sox 5 hour games. He doesn’t go to the plate to hack at the first pitch he sees.

          Reply
        • Miketober

          April 9, 2012

          Well the good news is that the guys should all be well rested after that 2-day work week thanks to our perennial manager’s wisdom in giving them the day off. Maybe they should get today off too in order to rest from that 2-hour flight. Thankfully we have the position of manager locked up for the future, which is far more important than 3B.

          Reply
      • Cesar Carvajal

        April 9, 2012

        I agree with your reviews of Scutaro.

        However, Agbayani points out three specific hitters: Hernandez, Cuddyer and “that guy on 3rd base that will play most part of the season”. I don’t know, if I say clutchiness, three games is nothing to talk about clutch. About working the count, I don’t know how the “trio” in discussion performed on Saturday and Sunday, but during the carreer at least I know Hernandez works the count well, but not as good as Scutaro, and Cuddyer, what can I say about him if he has spoken by himself

        In third base, if the problem is defense and the games have been close, Why don’t give a chance to Herrera?

        Finally, i agree with all of you about this Sunday Lineup Invention, but it is discussion of another reading.

        Reply
    • EdtheUmp

      April 9, 2012

      Very good early series/early season discussion.

      I’m going to evaluate this early season after this nine game homestand. The Sunday lineup fubar is disconserting to say the least.

      I’m watching very closely the “young guys” at bats. Example…Rosario “raked” in ST but is swinging at pitches w-a-y out of the strike zone. Way too many K’s at this early date.

      I will read with anticipation and appreciation the posters now and during this homestand. It IS early and no “pattern” has emerged yet. Disturbing “trends” appear to be forming but time will tell.

      Jaredean, keep up the good work and all you posters, old and new, keep the discussions going.

      We will know LOTS more(when I will open my big mouth and espose my know-it-all analysis)come April 19.

      Until then, keep the faith…GO ROCKIES.

      p.s. I will see some of you at the “party bus” anytime after 12:30…I will be there until 1:30 or so…come on by…I’ve got free beer.

      Reply

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