7:32pm: If Nelson does require surgery, the procedure he’d undergo carries a success rate of better than 90 percent, Rosiak tweets.
12:46pm: The Brewers announced that Jimmy Nelson will miss the rest of the season with a right rotator cuff strain and a partial anterior labrum tear. General manager David Stearns said Saturday that it’s unclear whether Nelson will require surgery, according to Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (on Twitter).
The premature end to Nelson’s year is a devastating development for the 73-68 Brewers, who trail the NL Central-leading Cubs by four games and sit three games back of the Rockies for the league’s last wild-card spot. The Brewers are currently in the midst of a three-game series against the Cubs and took the opener on Friday, 2-0, behind Nelson. The 28-year-old tossed five innings of four-hit, two-walk ball and added seven strikeouts, and he threw one of those frames with a labrum tear, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com tweets. Nelson suffered the injury on the base paths after hitting a fifth-inning single.
Like his team, Nelson has been a surprising success story this season. The emergent ace posted spectacular numbers across 175 1/3 innings and currently ranks fourth among major league starters in fWAR (4.9), ninth in strikeouts per nine innings (10.21), 10th in groundball rate (50.3 percent) and 15th in ERA (3.49). While Nelson’s brilliant work this year came at a near-minimum salary, his price tag will rise in the offseason. Nelson will take his first trip through arbitration, where the ERA, innings, strikeouts and 12-6 record he logged in 2017 should each help his cause.
As for the Nelson-less Brewers, they’ll likely look to their minor league system for down-the-stretch rotation help, Stearns announced (via McCalvy, on Twitter). Candidates to come up include Triple-A right-hander Taylor Jungmann and Double-A righty Aaron Wilkerson, per McCalvy.