Juan Nicasio Suffers Broken Neck

Rockies starting pitcher Juan Nicasio suffered a broken neck after he was hit in the right side of the head in the second inning of Friday’s 3-5 loss against the Washington Nationals. He was hit by a line drive off the bat of Washington shortstop Ian Desmond and fell to the ground where he laid for several minutes before being taken off on a stretcher.

[caption id="attachment_102" align="aligncenter" width="486" caption="Photo by Barry Gutierrez, The Associated Press"][/caption]

He was taken to the hospital and underwent a series of tests that revealed a fractured C-! vertebrae. He had a plate and two screws surgically placed in his neck early Saturday morning. He suffered internal bleeding in the right part of his head and will be monitored every few hours by a CT scan. He was reportedly “resting comfortably” in his hospital room.

With as violent and as dangerous of an injury Nicasio suffered, there is still a chance he may return to baseball. He is out indefinitely and no one really knows when, if at all, he can resume throwing. Dr. Allen Schreiber performed the surgery and gave Nicasio “every reasonable chance to come back completely. As the story continues to unfold, more information will become available.

The rookie pitcher Nicasio was given a spot in the pitching rotation when Jorge De La Rosa went down with a season ending injury. While the 24-year-old played adequate, he has shown glimpses of the player he can become.

The 6’3” right-handed went 4-4 with a 4.14 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 71.2 innings. He has had a few bad outing that raised his ERA, but has thrown some gems. In his Major League debut he picked up the win throwing seven scoreless innings. He pitched well enough to convince many he has the potential to be a front of the rotation starter once he recovers and refines his skills.

Nicasio has four main pitches in his repertoire that he can throw for strikes. His fastball is his best pitch and can reach the upper-90’s. He also throws a great slider and plus curveball. His fourth pitch is a changeup and is his weakest pitch, but he has great command of all four pitches, which makes him a big time strike thrower.

When someone suffers such a devastating injury, pitching should be the last thing on your mind. Nicasio is still a kid and the most important thing is for him right now is to be able to continue living a normal and healthy life. He certainly has a long road of recovery in front of him, but at the end of the day, baseball is still a game and this horrible incident reminds everybody of that.

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