It’s been over a year and a half since Jimmy Nelson took the mound for the Milwaukee Brewers. Could he make his return in the next few weeks? It’s possible.
Jimmy Nelson threw in a game at extended Spring Training in Arizona on Tuesday. He was playing with guys who are either too inexperienced for Single-A, or also working their way back from injuries, but the game was a huge step in his return.
How did Nelson pitch?
Well…they don’t keep stats for extended Spring Training, but Brewers manager Craig Counsell heard the outing was positive, so yay?
Didn’t Nelson suffer a setback a while ago?
Yes. Nelson was shut down at the end of Spring Training due to soreness in his right elbow. He was placed on the Injured List on March 28th, and played catch on March 29th. He was able to progress to an extended Spring Training game, so whatever was bothering him in his elbow must have worked itself out.
What’s the next step for Nelson?
The next step for Nelson is another start in extended Spring Training. Assuming the reports are still positive and there isn’t another round of soreness, Nelson will head to the Minors for a few tune up starts. At this point it’s reasonable to believe that he’ll need two or three starts before getting the call to the Majors.
If all goes well, Nelson could return to the Milwaukee Brewers by early May.
Who leaves the rotation?
Great question. Assuming there won’t be any issues or hiccups for Nelson in Triple-A, the choice has to be between Freddy Peralta and Corbin Burnes at this point. Burnes six homers allowed in two starts has blown up his ERA, while Peralta just got lit up by the Los Angeles Angels. When Nelson is ready to return, the Milwaukee Brewers will have to either move a young arm into the bullpen, or send one down to Triple-A to keep starting.
While it would be awesome to see Nelson return to form and lead the Milwaukee Brewers rotation again, expectations have to be tempered. Nelson has worked his way back from an injury that could have ended his career. It’s unreasonable to expect him to return to form immediately, but it would be really, really cool for Nelson to help the team in 2019.