The 25-year-old Milwaukee Brewers catcher likely suffered the injury during Game 2 of the 2020 Wild Card series versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Any Milwaukee Brewers offseason news is good offseason news at this point, right?? Well, not exactly. We are still in the year 2020, after all.
One of the several Brewers catchers on the team’s 40-man roster, Jacob Nottingham, found himself dinged up during last seasons brief postseason run. On Tuesday, he announced that he had undergone surgery to remedy the injury, as Adam McCalvy shared on Twitter.
Brewers catcher Jacob Nottingham, who was forced out of Game 2 of the Wild Card Series, has undergone thumb surgery per his Instagram. pic.twitter.com/NiZClcHCVL
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) December 30, 2020
As Nottingham announced this himself on Instagram, there is no word yet from the organization as to any timetable to return from the injury. Thus, being less than two months away from the normal time when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, it’s hard to know whether Nottingham will be among that group.
When did Nottingham suffer the injury?
Though it’s hard to know exactly on which pitch it happened, Nottingham apparently suffered the injury during Game 2 of the Wild Card series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, a game the Brewers ultimately lost 3-0. He would end up being pulled in the bottom of the sixth.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell would be asked about the injury after the game. According to McCalvy’s article about it on MLB.com, the Milwaukee skipper referred to it as “a sprained thumb, essentially.”
What does this mean for Nottingham and the Brewers?
The expected timeline for recovery obviously has a lot to do with this. But even not knowing that, it makes things even a little trickier when it comes to the Brewers having to make a decision on what they are going to do with Nottingham.
Recently we took a look at whether Nottingham or fellow catcher Manny Pina would be a better trade chip for the team. If the Brewers decide the answer to that catcher is Nottingham, teams will want to know at what point their potential trade target will be ready to contribute to the team. Injuries always complicate decisions like that.
If the Brewers are planning to make Nottingham, who has no minor league options remaining, a part of their 26-man roster plans, he’ll need to be available for Spring Training so he can compete for whatever position they have in store for him.
The other potential curveball here is the start of the season. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported a couple weeks ago that the league was considering delaying the start of the 2021 season until May. That would actually work in Nottingham’s favor, but no one knows if it will happen yet.
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Hopefully word will break in the coming days as to how long it will take Nottingham’s surgery to heal. Then we can go back to speculating his future with the team.