After scratching Jimmy Nelson from Tuesday’s scheduled start, the Brewers have decided to go ahead and shut him down for the remainder of the season.
Nelson was hit in the head by a comebacker last Thursday in a start against the Cardinals. Fortunately, he managed to avoid serious injury, but Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the neurologist felt that there was too much risk to having him pitch again this quickly. At this point of the year, it makes all the sense in the world to play things safe and give him an early start on his offseason.
Nelson will finish off his first full season in the majors with a 4.11 ERA and 148/65 K/BB ratio in 177 1/3 innings over 30 starts. The 26-year-old is an intriguing building block for new general manager David Stearns.
With Justin Turner and Jimmy Rollins both banged up, Chase Utley will do something in tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks that he has never done in his major league career. After appearing in 1,574 games, he will make his first ever start at third base.
Utley, now 36, hasn’t played third base since he was a 23-year-old in Triple-A in 2002. However, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com writes that he has been taking ground balls at the position over the past couple of weeks. Utley has already made one start at first base since coming over to the Dodgers and this isn’t a bad time to test his versatility further, as starting second baseman Howie Kendrick recently returned from the disabled list.
Utley is batting just .207/.291/.359 with two home runs and five RBI in 103 plate appearances since the trade.
When Adam Wainwright tore his left Achilles in late April, the assumption was that he would be done for the season. However, that Cardinals Devil Magic is at it again, as it’s beginning to sound like he could be available to pitch during the postseason.
According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, Wainwright has been cleared by doctors to begin baseball activities and could throw a simulated game soon. The hope is that he’ll be able to make it back as a reliever. Of course, Wainwright broke into the majors as a reliever and played a crucial role in the team’s World Series run in 2006.
It would be quite a lift to get Wainwright back in any capacity, but it’s still incredible to see what the Cardinals have been able to do without him. Their 2.92 staff ERA is the best in MLB since the 1988 Mets.