Last night, Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson made his fourth rehab start for Triple-A San Antonio, and manager Craig Counsell had said that they would make a decision on Nelson after that. After his start last night, the Brewers decided to activate him from the IL, but option him to San Antonio.
Jimmy Nelson has been working his way back from a major shoulder injury that had happened in September of 2017. The injury kept him out all of 2018, but he started this season in camp and hoping to make it back to the majors. He did make a few appearances during spring training before remaining in extended spring training to keep working on his rehab. He started his official rehab assignment earlier this month with Triple-A San Antonio. In four appearances covering 19 innings, he recorded 22 strikeouts, 9 walks,and allowed a total of 10 runs, including 3 home runs. Last night, Nelson was strong for three innings, but fell apart in the last two, and finished the night with four runs allowed on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
The Brewers had a decision to make on Jimmy Nelson, whether to put him back into the rotation, into the bullpen, or let him pitch in the minors for now. Though the Brewers rotation had struggled to start the season, they’ve found themselves in a bit of a group lately. Brandon Woodruff, Gio Gonzalez, and Zach Davies have headlined the rotation, providing solid innings most of the time for the team. Jhoulys Chacin and Chase Anderson haven’t been great, but they’ve been serviceable lately. By putting Nelson in the minors for now, it gives him time to continue to get back to full strength, as well as keeps some starting depth available in case the Brewers need it.
This is likely just a temporary situation for Nelson. After his strong 2017, the Brewers are going to give him every chance to succeed, but he is still coming off of major shoulder surgery. As much as this seems like an odd move, it’s best to have some patience for now. Jimmy Nelson will be back, it’s just going to be a little longer than expected.
UPDATE: Here’s what Craig Counsell had to say on Jimmy Nelson, per Adam McCalvy:
Craig Counsell said Jimmy Nelson is understandably disappointed to be remaining in Triple-A. CC suggested the decision was dictated in part by the recent success of Brewers starters.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) May 24, 2019
UPDATE 2: More information, per Todd Rosiak:
Craig Counsell says optioning Jimmy Nelson allows him time “to get back to where we think he can get to.” Said he’s answered the health questions. Roster management also played into it. Counsell added there’s no inclination to use Nelson out of the bullpen.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) May 24, 2019
Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.