Brewers News

Milwaukee Brewers: Jimmy Nelson Unlikely To Return This Season

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 01: Jimmy Nelson #52 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Miller Park on September 01, 2017 in Milwaukee, WI. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 01: Jimmy Nelson #52 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Miller Park on September 01, 2017 in Milwaukee, WI. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Brewers ace Jimmy Nelson was injured almost a year ago in Chicago on a dive into first base. He was supposed to come back healthy and strong this season, but that scenario is increasingly unlikely.

At Brewers On Deck back in January, word slipped out that the Milwaukee Brewers expected Jimmy Nelson to be ready to go sometime during the month of June. He was ahead of schedule on his rehab from shoulder surgery and was progressing well.

Then his return date was pushed back to the All Star Break, and then it was pushed to August. Now, according to the Brewers, if Nelson isn’t ready to go soon, he won’t be back at all this season.

Potential Rehab Assignment

Nelson is throwing off the mound, but he’s still only working on side sessions. He would need to go on a rehab assignment very soon if he’s going to pitch at all this season. The minor league season ends in early September. He would need his rehab starts completed by then if he’s going to be activated.

With how long Nelson has gone in between games, he would need a minimum of three minor league rehab starts before being activated. And that’s at the very least. The Milwaukee Brewers would likely prefer he had more starts to get him ready.

If Nelson is going to get the ball every five days to get those starts, he would be on a rehab assignment for a minimum of two weeks. There’s about three weeks left in the minor league season. If he’s going to come back, he needs to be ready for game action in the next week.

Long Term Health

It would be nice if Nelson could come back at full strength to finish off a playoff run in September. Nelson clearly established himself last season prior to his injury and was the Brewers best starting pitcher at the time.

The Brewers clearly don’t want to push Nelson too hard to make an impact this season. He’s too valuable in the long term to risk another injury that could keep him out for even longer. If he’s not 100% right now, then don’t bother activating him. It’s best to give him a couple extra months over the winter where he can take it easy, and come back stronger than ever in 2019.

It’s disappointing that Nelson won’t be able to positively impact the Crew’s potential playoff run this season. Losing him probably cost the team a Wild Card spot last season and not having him could negatively impact their playoff push this year as well.

An ace is needed in the playoffs. Nelson was well on his way to establishing himself as that ace prior to the injury. Hopefully he can continue to pitch that way in 2019. Because it looks like his 2018 season is over.

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The Milwaukee Brewers haven’t been able to fill the void that Nelson left at the top of the rotation. Chase Anderson hasn’t kept up his stats from last year and Zach Davies has been hurt all year long as well.

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