The shoulder procedure performed today on Brewers righty Jimmy Nelson ended up being somewhat more extensive than had been hoped. While there was optimism that surgeons would not find a need to repair Nelson’s labrum, they did end up needing to do some tissue work, GM David Stearns told reporters including MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy (via Twitter).
As a result, it is now expected that Nelson will miss “a chunk” of the 2018 season, per Stearns. Just how long the key righty will be sidelined isn’t yet known and will surely depend upon his rehab progress. Regardless, Milwaukee will need to plan on alternatives to fill the rotation to start the year.
Losing Nelson for any chunk of time constitutes a blow for the Brewers, putting a damper on an otherwise exciting season. The club has plenty of intriguing young pitchers, and could still decide to retain Matt Garza for depth, but Nelson had emerged as a force and can’t realistically be replaced. It’s possible that the Brewers will still mostly look to internal options to fill out the staff early next season, though it’s also conceivable that the injury could spur Stearns to look into ways to bolster the rotation over the offseason.
Unfortunately, the news also clouds Nelson’s long-term outlook. Labrum tears are among the most worrying injuries that a pitcher can suffer, as we discussed recently with regard to Angels right-hander Alex Meyer — who is expected to miss a full year of action. There is perhaps some added optimism here, McCalvy notes on Twitter, because the injury occurred to a different area of the labrum than is typically the case for tears caused by throwing.
Despite the unfortunate news, Nelson should take home a significant first-time arbitration salary after topping 170 innings in each of the past three seasons — and carrying a 3.49 ERA with 199 strikeouts in 2017. Of course, time missed in the season to come will reduce his ability to earn in the future, though at this point the focus will be on simply getting the 28-year-old back to full health.
Stearns is a great GM, I trust he’ll find a good replacement for the time being.
Can I have some Kool-Aid?
Don’t be a hater. Stearns has put together a contender with one of the lowest payrolls in the game, a team that some prognosticators predicted would lose 100 games. That’s a good GM. Try to argue otherwise
God that sucks. The Brewers have been fun to watch this year along with Nelson who seemed to have figured it out. Now he essentially sustained one of the worse injuries, if not the worse, a pitcher could sustain. The labrum is beyond tricky. Even with successful surgery and rehab the general time table is 18-24 months to get back to former selves if they ever do. I guess a current success story you can point to would be Ryu. This is the part of baseball that sucks. I hope he’s able to bounce back.
I just had my labrum repaired too and if it means anything to you fans, if he works hard, he won’t miss too much. I understand pitching and blocking a d-lineman are totally different things, I know the recovery process can be sped up by hard work and dedication. Many prayers
I had mine repaired after my junior year of college and missed basically the whole next season because I tried to come back fast. The ball and socket is much more difficult to repair and rehab than a hinge. Especially for the pitching motion. I wish the dude the best because he’s a stud, but history tells us even if he does come back we’ll he won’t be his old self.
Prefect time to get ride of some of that extra outfield minor league depth and swing a trade for Julio Teheran sure seems to line up nicely.
Teheran is hot garbage
Make Archer an offer he can’t refuse.
But the Rays can refuse