SAN DIEGO -- The Rockies believe a brief time away from the Major League spotlight was all right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio needed.
Nicasio is being recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs to start Friday night against the Dodgers for the second meeting of a four-game set going into the All-Star break.
Before being sent down June 28, Nicasio was 4-4 with a 5.31 ERA in 16 starts, in many cases starting strong before running into trouble in middle innings. The issue came up with his secondary pitches, mainly because he threw them tentatively.
In two starts at Colorado Springs, he allowed one run and struck out eight in 11 innings. His first start was going well before rain limited him to three innings. He threw eight scoreless innings in his next start.
"It's throwing strikes, being in good counts, being more efficient," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's got to be a put-away pitch, so he doesn't have to deal with extended at-bats. We all know he's got the big arm, but it's a matter of being more efficient and getting strike one."
The starts at Colorado Springs were his first at the Triple-A level. He was at Double-A Tulsa when the Rockies called him up in 2011, and the last two seasons both were shortened by injuries.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.