Milwaukee Brewers: Jimmy Nelson Won’t Be Ready For Opening Day

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 08: Jimmy Nelson
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 08: Jimmy Nelson /

While there has been considerable progress for Milwaukee Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson, it apparently hasn’t been enough.

According to Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell, Jimmy Nelson will not be on the Opening Day roster as he continues his rehab from 2017 shoulder surgery.

With just 16 days left until Opening Day, Nelson hasn’t progressed quickly enough to make that roster.

What Does This Mean For Nelson?

Nelson will continue on a regular schedule for a starting pitcher and the goal is to get him back in the big leagues when ready. This way, the Milwaukee Brewers can send him to the minor leagues for a few rehab starts in real games to get a glimpse of how ready he is for big league action.

He has to work his way up to being stretched out and ready to go and there isn’t much time left before Opening Day. The Brewers want him to get his bearings and get his legs under himself before they bring him into a big league game.

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As for an approximate return date, my guess is Nelson will make a couple starts in the minors and will be called up mid-late April, depending on how he looks.

What Does The Mean For The Rest Of The Rotation?

The battle of seven players for five spots has been knocked down to six players for five spots. Jhoulys Chacin is a lock and Corbin Burnes is a pretty good bet to make it. That leaves four pitchers for three spots.

This gives a much better shot for the rookies Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta to make the roster. The veterans like Chase Anderson and Zach Davies stand a good chance of making the team because of their experience as well as the fact they’ve both been pitching well in spring training, especially Davies. Anderson has settled down since his rough start to the spring.

Neither Peralta nor Woodruff have allowed a run in spring so far, but each have only pitched four innings in two games. At least that’s what we have stats for. With the depth of starting pitchers Milwaukee has, some of the pitchers have rotated between pitching in big league spring games and minor league spring games.

Nelson not being ready for the Opening Day roster will give an opportunity to one of these young starting pitchers.

However, when Nelson does return, who will get removed from the rotation? It could be whichever young pitcher that took his spot originally, or it could be whoever the weakest link in that rotation is. Although that early in the season, it’s difficult to get a large enough sample size to make that big of a difference.

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The Milwaukee Brewers have taken it slowly and cautiously with Jimmy Nelson. They aren’t worried about him being ready for Opening Day because they would prefer he’d pitch at 100% when they brought him back.