We’ve all likely inferred as much considering the Brewers have fewer than 40 games left to play in the regular season — and even fewer for minor league teams that may host a rehab assignment — but the team all but confirmed today that Jimmy Nelson won’t be able to make it back on a big league mound in 2018.
#Brewers GM David Stearns said team "is running out of time" to get Jimmy Nelson on mound this season. Sounds unlikely.— Tom (@Haudricourt) August 15, 2018
Craig Counsell on Jimmy Nelson: “Jimmy pitching for us this year is unlikely. And that’s not due to a setback of any nature, that’s just due to the pace of his rehab right now.” pic.twitter.com/lPiSozK3F8— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 15, 2018
This is obviously disappointing news, even if it was likely expected. Even the most optimistic outlooks — and there were plenty when Nelson’s rehab got off to such a good start — still had him missing a majority of the season. When his progress plateaued over the summer, the odds of even coming back late in the year in a relief role started to seem slim.
Labrum injuries, in general, take a full calendar year (or more) to heal. Nelson also tore his rotator cuff and suffered other damage when he jammed his shoulder diving back to first base as a baserunner.
In the video above, Craig Counsell does say the team is still hoping to get him into a competitive environment before the start of next season, whether that’s pitching in instructional leagues or playing winter ball.