Phillies claim Juan Nicasio off waivers from Pirates

September 12, 2016: Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher Juan Nicasio (12) [7554] throws pitch during a Major League Baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire

The Philadelphia Phillies have officially announced that the club has claimed right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates. As a result, first baseman Brock Stassi was designated for assignment in order to make room for Nicasio on the team’s 40-man roster.

Nicasio has bounced around the league a bit in his seven major league seasons, but he’s been quite strong this season for the Pirates. In 65 appearances out of the bullpen, the 31-year-old has a 2.85 ERA and a WHIP of 1.12. Nicasio has bounced back-and-forth between the rotation and the bullpen throughout his career, but he finally seems to have carved out a niche for himself as a late-inning reliever. He began his career as a starter with the Colorado Rockies before slowly transitioning into a reliever. In 258 career big league appearances, including 82 starts, Nicasio has a record of 34-37 with an ERA of 4.61.

Stassi, 28, made the Phillies’ roster out of spring training. He received regular playing time for the first month-and-a-half of the season before his role with the club began to diminish. He hit just .167/.278/.295 with two homers in 90 plate appearances with the Phillies on the year. Stassi has not appeared in a game for Philadelphia since July 18. Stassi has hit .256 with four home runs in 47 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

The Phillies are just 49-83 entering Thursday’s game in Miami, but things have been looking brighter ever since Rhys Hoskins got the call earlier this month. The 24-year-old slugger has been tearing the cover off the ball, as he has hit 11 home runs through his first 21 big league games.

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