The Brewers are set to call up right-hander Jimmy Nelson for their Wednesday matinee against the Marlins, manager Craig Counsell told reporters Sunday. It’s been a long road back to the majors for Nelson, who has been laid up since September 2017 after undergoing surgery to repair a partially torn labrum and strained rotator cuff.
Nelson, 29, suffered the season-ending injury after dislocating his shoulder on a slide into first base several years ago. While there was some optimism surrounding a potential return to the rotation in 2018, complications set his timetable back further than he would have liked.
“Jimmy’s [surgery] was not run-of-the-mill shoulder surgery,” Counsell said in a statement. “It’s required some extra work. He’s certainly put in the work, and credit to him for that. He’s aced that part of it. It still took him more than he would have liked, but that’s the way it worked, and that’s the way he healed.”
Prior to the injury, Nelson was about to polish off the best season of his five-year career to date. He placed ninth among 2017 NL Cy Young Award candidates after turning in a 12-6 record in 29 starts and a 3.49 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, 10.2 SO/9, and 4.8 fWAR across 175 1/3 innings. While he’s gone untested in the majors since then, he showed some promise in a rehab stint this spring, going 3-0 in four starts with 11 runs, 12 walks, and 29 strikeouts scattered across his first 24 innings in Triple-A Nashville.
Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, the veteran righty is expected to supplant an injured Jhoulys Chacín in the rotation for the time being. Chacín hit the 10-day injured list on Sunday with a lower back strain after taking an at-bat against the Pirates’ Chris Archer on Friday.