The Phillies placed reliever Juan Nicasio on the 10-day injured list Thursday with a left-groin strain, losing one of their most frequently used pitchers until past the All-Star break.
Manager Gabe Kapler said Nicasio told the Phillies after Wednesday’s loss he aggravated the injury over the weekend in Miami, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“I don’t know. All I can tell you is it’s bothering. It’s bothering me right now,” Nicasio said Wednesday after giving up a homer and three earned runs in only a third of an inning of a 9-2 loss to the Braves. “It’s been a few days that it’s been bothering me but I didn’t think it was anything significant but today it got a little worse so we’re going to take it easy.”
Nicasio, who pitched 11 times in June and has appeared in 32 games this season, trails only closer Hector Neris (35) and Jose Alvarez (33) in appearances for the Phillies.
“I’m not going to speculate or second-guess our pitchers,” Kapler said when asked if he would’ve preferred to know before Wednesday that Nicasio was hurt. “Our pitchers are tough. They fight really hard. They prepare themselves to pitch.”
Nicasio (1-2, 5.24 ERA) had 10 scoreless appearances in June, bouncing back from an inconsistent start to the season, before he said he aggravated his groin Sunday against the Marlins.
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Losing him will force Kapler to elevate another reliever into his bridge-to-closer role (Nicasio has eight holds) as the team continues to wait for David Robertson and Pat Neshek to return.
The Phillies (45-41) enter Thursday’s game against the Braves 5 1/2 games back of first-place Atlanta in the NL East and tied with the Nationals atop the wild-card standings.