Opening Day is just 9 days away for the Milwaukee Brewers. The roster is coming together, and we now have updates on how two of the Brewers’ injured pitchers will begin the season. Both Jeremy Jeffress and Jimmy Nelson will open the season on the 10-day IL.
Jeremy Jeffress has been held out of games since his first game on March 6, where he exited after throwing three pitches. He’s been dealing with some shoulder weakness since then and has been building back his strength, but with just over a week until the season starts, he will need a little more time before he will be ready. However, it’s not expected to be much more than a few weeks into the season before he will make his return. For now, he will remain in extended spring training, after a trip to Milwaukee to be there for the Opening Day festivities. While there’s no definitive date for his return, mid to late April is the current hope, though manager Craig Counsell declined to commit to that.
Craig Counsell said @JMontana41 is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Thursday. No setback for JJ, but he’ll start the season on IL. Plan is for him to be with team on Opening Day, then return to AZ to pitch in games.— Sophia Minnaert (@SophiaMinnaert) March 19, 2019
More Stearns on Jeffress: "We don't anticipate this going well into the season. Maybe mid to late April, without putting something definitive on there, is probably a fair estimate at this point."— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 19, 2019
Meanwhile, Jimmy Nelson is also making progress in his return from shoulder surgery. He pitched 3 innings in a game on Saturday, and is not too far out from pitching in a MLB game again. However, he will need a little more time before he’ll be ready for full action. The plan is for him to pitch in San Antonio for a few starts, then re-evaluate where he is at. While David Stearns did not give a return date for him, if he looks good after 2-3 starts, that could put him also in line for a mid-to-late April return.
More Stearns on Nelson: "He will open the season on the injured list. He should be able to start games with the (AAA) San Antonio club right at the start of the season." That's good news.— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 19, 2019
So, #Brewers GM David Stearns gave us more defined news on Jimmy Nelson. Will open season on injured list but is expected to pitch at start of AAA season instead of staying in extended spring training: "He'll get a couple of starts under his belt and then we'll re-evaluate."— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 19, 2019
Though it is a little discouraging to see two of the Brewers better pitchers starting the season on the injured list, it looks like they will not be gone for long. Both are on track to return early in the season, and if that holds, it could be a nice boost to the team a few weeks in.