The Milwaukee Brewers assigned Jimmy Nelson to the Single-A Wisconsin TimberRattlers to start a rehab assignment. Will Nelson return to the Majors any time soon?
The good news is that Jimmy Nelson is health enough to start a rehab assignment. The bad news is that Nelson has 30 days to work his way back before the Milwaukee Brewers have to activate him to the 25-man roster or option him to the Minors.
Nelson is set to make his first rehab start on July 21st, and then work his way up the organizational ladder while building up his arm strength. What will it take for Nelson to return, and what role will he have with the Milwaukee Brewers?
What was Nelson’s injury?
He was diagnosed with fluid in his right elbow on June 28th. He was carrying the injury since Spring Training, but he wasn’t shut down until after the injury became too much to work through. He’s thrown a few bullpen sessions in the past week or so, and got the thumb’s up to start a rehab assignment.
How did he fare with the Brewers
Nelson posted an 8.36 ERA in 14 innings before hitting the Injured List. His velocity wasn’t an issue, but it was clear that he wasn’t generating the same movement that he had in 2017. He went from the rotation to the bullpen to the IL.
What’s the plan for Nelson?
It certainly sounds like the Milwaukee Brewers are going to keep Nelson down on the farm for the full 30 days before making a decision. He’s scheduling to start on Sunday, and if all goes well, he’ll pitch again on Wednesday for a different affiliate.
Nelson could follow that outing a few days later, assuming he gets a clean bill of health.
What’s Nelson’s role moving forward?
Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell said, “I don’t think we’re going to stretch him out to start at this point.”
When Nelson is ready to return to the Majors, he’s going to have to prove himself in the bullpen with an eye towards starting in 2020. Nelson was expected to factor into the Milwaukee Brewers rotation for the next few years, but it’s looking like anything he provides in the future is a bonus. Until he shows the form he had before his injury in 2017, it’s hard to count on Nelson as a key cog in bullpen or rotation.