It seems like just a few years ago that Juan Nicasio was pitching for the Tri-City Dust Devils in Gesa Stadium.
Wait a minute. It WAS just a few years ago — 2009, to be exact.
I remember it was Dave Schuler's first year in the Colorado Rockies' system, and he was assigned as the Dust Devils' pitching coach. I would ask him a lot of questions about the entire pitching staff, but he would always find a way to talk about Nicasio, a dedicated worker who Schuler tabbed as the opening-day guy in 2008.
Well, now he's close to being the No. 3 starter for the Rockies.
He was on course for a fantastic rookie season last year when he was hit in the head with a line drive late last year, breaking the C-1 vertebrae in his neck. With an injury like that, the biggest concern is whether a player can walk again, much less return to the major leagues.
But he's back in a big way this year, and he's having a fine spring.