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Brewers pause Jimmy Nelson’s throwing program after latest minor setback, cortisone shot

He’s got a bout of elbow soreness.

Washington Nationals V Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Optimism has been building in regards to the possible return of Jimmy Nelson to the big league mound for the Milwaukee Brewers. Nelson got into two Cactus League games for the Maryvale Nine this spring, logging 4.0 innings with two earned runs allowed, including a homer, as well as seven strikeouts against zero walks. His fastball had been clocked as high as 95 MPH while sitting in the low-90s, and he was generating swings-and-misses with both his slider and curveball.

The decision had already been made that Nelson will open the year on the Injured List in order to continue building up stamina while making starts for Triple-A San Antonio, with Nelson pitching in minor league camp until then. But a setback following his most recent outing could push his timeline back a little bit.

Nelson last pitched against the Dodgers’ minor leaguers on Thursday, and according to Adam McCalvy, his fastball was sitting in the 91-93 MPH range during the first three innings before registering at 89 MPH during his fourth and final inning of work. Nelson’s outing was cut short when he reached his 60-throw pitch count. Nelson reported elbow soreness the following day and was examined by the team’s doctor, but the front office is optimistic that the issue is not serious. He received a cortisone shot and is shut down from throwing for the next few days, and the team is still hopeful that he’ll be ready to pitch in time for the start of the minor league season. San Antonio has their Opening Day on April 4th.