Brewers hurler Jimmy Nelson is pausing his throwing program owing to “arm fatigue discomfort,” president of baseball operations David Stearns tells reporters including Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. All involved say they’re unconcerned with the development, with manager Craig Counsell labeling it “a very minor setback.” It has been a long road back already for Nelson, who hasn’t thrown a competitive inning since undergoing a labrum procedure in September of 2017. He’ll need to wait a while longer before taking the bump in a Spring Training contest, with the club understandably maintaining a conservative plan in light of his health history.
More health notes from around the game …
- The Phillies say that outfielder Odubel Herrera is dealing with a grade 1 hamstring strain, Matt Breen of Philly.com reports on Twitter. He’s said to be “coming along,” though skipper Gabe Kapler couldn’t specify when Herrera will be ready to take the field. It’s not a terribly worrying injury at the outset of camp, though it will limit Herrera’s opportunities to get in a groove after a disappointing 2018 season. The wild card in the situation is the Phils’ ongoing pursuit of Bryce Harper and their as-yet-unknown plans for shuffling the outfield deck if they sign him. The injury might impact Herrera’s marketability, if he’s a player the team would consider moving to make way for Harper.
- Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson is readying for his first Spring Training game action at the end of the week, per Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). That seems to represent a positive sign for a player who underwent wrist surgery at the conclusion of the 2018 campaign. Swanson had a quiet but reasonably promising 2018 campaign, with sparkling glovework and baserunning making up for still-lagging production at the plate. Swanson produced only a .238/.304/.395 slash (80 wRC+) with 14 home runs and ten steals over 533 plate appearances, but that represented a step forward after a rough 2017 effort. He’ll open camp with a presumption of at least semi-regular playing time, but could face pressure from Johan Camargo over the course of the season.
- Hip surgery is on the table for Royals righty Trevor Oaks, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic reports (subscription link). If it is determined that he needs to go under the knife for a labrum tear, the 25-year-old will miss a significant portion of the season to come. Oaks turned in 128 1/3 innings of 3.23 ERA ball at Triple-A last year after he was acquired in last winter’s Scott Alexander swap. He managed only 4.9 K/9 with 3.1 BB/9 on the year, though did post a 50.2% groundball rate (which actually lags his well-above-average minor-league career groundball numbers). Oaks also made a brief MLB debut in 2018. As Dodd explains, it didn’t seem likely that he’d crack the active roster to open the coming campaign. Nevertheless, the loss would dent the Royals’ rotation depth.