Update: I thought the Marlins would be smart enough to shut down Ricky Nolasco for the season, but apparently I was wrong.

With a torn meniscus in his right knee, Nolasco took the mound on Saturday and got torched for seven hits and six runs in two innings by the Atlanta Braves.

I understand Nolasco wanted pitch, but the Marlins have to be smart and realize that Nolasco on the mound can’t yield positive result. The Marlins aren’t going to the playoffs and continuously pitching Nolasco with a torn meniscus in his knee could not only do further damage to that knee; it could damage his arm as well.

It’s quite possible that Nolasco could change his motion or arm angle to compensate for his knee, a common cause of injury to pitchers. I credit Nolasco for wanting to take the ball, but sitting out the remainder of the season is.

Original Post

Last week I wrote about Jair Jurrjens, the home warrior. I thought it would be fitting to write this week about a guy who has truly been a road warrior this season.

With no disrespect to Animal or the late Hawk, Florida Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco was a true road warrior this season. Despite his season ending prematurely (he wants to pitch, but that would be a dumb idea) because of a torn meniscus in his right knee, Nolasco really was a stud on the road this season.

Overall on the season, Nolasco is 14-8 with a 4.22 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP, and averages 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings. It has been a solid season for Nolasco considering he was sent down to the minors last season.

On the road, however Nolasco really shined. In 14 starts, Nolasco was 10-2 with a 3.35 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, and averaged 8.3 K/9.

The biggest difference for Nolasco on the road versus at home is that he kept the ball in the ballpark.

At home, Nolasco is giving up 1.8 HR’s per nine innings, and on the road he is only giving up 0.9 HR’s/9. What’s interesting about Nolasco’s splits is that A—his fly-ball percentage is about the same (41 percent) on the road versus at home— and B—he is the complete opposite of the Marlins’ pitching staff as a whole.

The Marlins’ pitching staff has a lower ERA at home than on the road (3.77 to 4.13) and gives up less HR’s/9 at home (0.67) as on the road (0.89). Perhaps Ricky should do the opposite and go from tuna on toast, coleslaw, and a cup of coffee to chicken salad on rye, untoasted, and a cup of tea in order to fit in with the rest of his staff.

Why Nolasco struggled at home this year while the other Marlin pitchers enjoyed success is beyond me. But what I do know is that Nolasco really had one heck of a season on the road and was a true road warrior.

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