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Jimmy Nelson to undergo shoulder surgery

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Brewers’ right-hander Jimmy Nelson will undergo surgery to address a right rotator cuff strain and partial anterior labrum tear, per a report by MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. The club placed him on the 10-day disabled list early on Friday, but have given no indication that he’ll pitch again this season. The specifics of the procedure are pending further evaluation on Tuesday, and McCalvy adds that it may be a routine clean-up procedure rather than something more invasive. Until then, there’s no telling how long he’ll be sidelined.

Nelson was diagnosed with the shoulder strain following his start against the Cubs last Friday, when he hurled five shutout innings before leaving with arm soreness on a bad slide into first base. He’s put up career-best numbers this year, going 12-6 in 29 starts with a 3.49 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 through 175 1/3 innings in Milwaukee.

Even without their ace, the Brewers have found ways to stay competitive for the division title. They entered Friday’s opener against the Marlins with a 3.5-game deficit in the NL Central and a 2.5-game deficit in the wild card race. Milwaukee skipper Craig Counsell is trying to keep things flexible, he told reporters, which has meant more exercise for the bullpen over the last several weeks. “When you get into this mode, I think it’s all hands on deck,” Counsell said Friday. “That’s the mode we’re in. The players have completely bought into that, I think. Things change. That’s what this time of year produces. It’s not unsettling at all, it’s just the mode we’re in.”

Shohei Ohtani medically cleared to begin throwing progression

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The Angels released a medical update on P/DH Shohei Ohtani Thursday evening. Ohtani was reevaluated by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The right-hander’s sprained UCL showed improved healing and, as a result, he has been cleared to begin a throwing progression.

Ohtani, 24, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow after his June 6 start against the Royals and hasn’t pitched since, though he has been in the lineup as a hitter since July 3. It was initially believed he would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then the thought was that Ohtani wouldn’t pitch again for the rest of the season, but this update suggests a possibility he could return to the mound before the season is over.

In nine starts, Ohtani put together a 3.10 ERA with a 61/20 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he batted .283/.365/.522 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 157 plate appearances.