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Juan Nicasio filled out the bullpen in 2019

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In the middle innings, he was a decent option. In key late game situations? No thanks.

Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks
Juan Nicasio was okay, but you don’t exactly want him closing games for you
Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

The numbers

47 games, 2-3 W-L, 4.75 ERA, 20.7 K%, 9.7 BB%, 0.5 fWAR

The good

Acquired as part of the Jean Segura trade, Nicasio seemed like a reasonable option for one of the last few spots in the bullpen. Over his eight-year career, he had proven capable of handling a lot of innings, especially if those innings weren’t especially high leverage.

In 2019, Nicasio appeared in 47 games, and to my surprise, the Phillies actually won the majority of them. As expected, he ate up innings in games where the starters got knocked out early (and to be sure, there were plenty of those). He had his share of bad outings, but in most of those cases, the game was already out of hand, and Nicasio helped ease the burden on the rest of the relievers.

The bad

Unfortunately, due to the high number of injuries suffered by the Phillies’ bullpen, there were a few times when Nicasio was called upon in late-game situations when a narrow lead needed protecting. That generally didn’t go so well.

He also spent about a month on the injured list late in the season, which isn’t good for a guy whose main purpose is to pitch a lot of low-leverage innings.

The future

Nicasio is a free agent, and while he’s a cromulent option for one of the the final spots in a bullpen, the Phillies can probably find a younger, cheaper player to fill that role.