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Juan Nicasio throws to hitters five months after broken neck

Jan 9, 2012, 9:32 PM EDT

Juan Nicasio , Bob Apodaca

Rockies’ right-hander Juan Nicasio suffered a fractured C-1 vertebrae when he was hit by a comebacker last August, but he continues to show remarkable signs of progress.

According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Nicasio has begun throwing to live hitters in a controlled environment.

“He’s been throwing to hitters with an L screen (that provides protection),” said Rolando Fernandez, the Rockies’ director of Latin America operations. “He’s doing good.”

Renck writes that Nicasio has shown “outstanding velocity” this winter and has told friends and family that he will return to the big leagues. Barring any setbacks, the hope is that he’ll start throwing without a screen before spring training so that he can compete for a rotation spot. Pretty easy to root for this guy.

Nicasio, 25, posted a 4.14 ERA and a promising 58/18 K/BB ratio over 71 1/3 innings as a rookie last season.

  1. Old Gator - Jan 9, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Nice story; sweet note on which to end the evening. Hope he’s OK.

  2. cur68 - Jan 9, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    When I saw him get hit I feared for his life. I’m pretty happy to see him getting back to pitching. I’m looking forward to his first start since the injury. Good luck, kid.

  3. whittle79 - Jan 9, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Stay positive Juan !! I know you will be back !!

  4. baseballisboring - Jan 10, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Good for him. Broken necks are a drag, from what I hear.

    • Francisco (FC) - Jan 10, 2012 at 8:04 AM

      ANY neck related injury is bad! It’s great to see him recovering and coming back to the mound. More than one person might have called it quits, not him!

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