Anytime we hear “Jimmy Nelson” and “setback” in the same sentence, alarms tend to go off.
It looks like this time, the Brewers are trying to get ahead of Nelson already “backing off” from his spring routine by assuring everyone that everything is fine with his shoulder — they just want him to stop throwing off a mound for a little bit.
Listening back to Craig Counsell, he said Nelson would be back out playing catch tomorrow, not necessarily back on the mound. But again, he characterized this as "just part of the bumps in the road in this thing that we need to get through."— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) February 25, 2019
GM David Stearns said Jimmy Nelson has "arm fatigue" not specific to shoulder..Does not consider it serious unless continues for some time.— Tom (@Haudricourt) February 25, 2019
Having Nelson get shut down — even if it’s just for a few days — only a couple weeks after coming into camp where the team said the chains would be off is a little disconcerting, as minor as the situation may be.
If there’s good news, it’s that it isn’t the shoulder barking at the moment, and it makes sense that Nelson may be struggling with some arm fatigue as he tries to work it back into game shape after missing more than a full year.
Even if it is just a small hiccup, it’s still a reminder that nothing should be taken for granted when it comes to Nelson’s recovery and expected return. There are going to be plenty of other “bumps in the road,” and if (some of us still aren’t comfortable using “when”) he does return, there’s certainly no guarantee it will be at the level we saw in 2017 — no matter how badly Nelson wants to get there. Until we see him get into a game — and have no complications after that game — it’s probably best to temper expectations.