ATLANTA -- Juan Nicasio became the eighth Phillies reliever to hit the injured list this season.
Nicasio was removed from the active roster before Thursday night’s game because of tightness in his left quadriceps and a left groin strain that manager Gabe Kapler categorized as “mild." Nicasio said the issues came up during last weekend’s series in Miami, but he didn’t inform the team until after he allowed three runs and got only one out in the sixth inning of a 9-2 loss Wednesday night.
"We just thought it was best to give his body a complete period to recover and get stronger," Kapler said. "We need him at his best for the rest of the season, so this was a good opportunity to give him that blow and create some recovery for him."
Nicasio has made 32 appearances, third-most on the team behind closer Hector Neris and lefty Jose Alvarez. He has allowed 42 hits and 15 walks in 34 1/3 innings and posted a 5.24 earned-run average.
The Phillies are being conservative about building up Tommy Hunter’s workload after he spent the season’s first three months on the injured list, but the frequency of Hunter’s usage will increase with Nicasio sidelined.
Help might be on the way. David Robertson (flexor strain) has been throwing bullpen sessions and could be ready to go on a minor-league assignment shortly after the All-Star break. Kapler said the training staff is also encouraged by Seranthony Dominguez’s progress from an elbow injury, although he has not yet resumed throwing.
"We're optimistic that our bullpen, at some point in the next six weeks, will be at full strength," Kapler said. "We need to work really hard to piece it together until then."
The Phillies recalled lefty Austin Davis from triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Nicasio's spot in the bullpen.