MARCH 17: Nelson receives a $700K salary in 2022, reports Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (on Twitter). The club option is valued at $1.1MM and contains possible performance bonuses.
MARCH 15: Right-hander Jimmy Nelson appears to be back with the Dodgers, as he’s in their clubhouse this morning, tweets Pedro Moura of the L.A. Times. Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic tweets that a locker for Nelson is set up. Nelson signed a one-year, Major League contract with a club option that covers the 2023 season, tweets Ardaya.
It’s not clear whether Nelson, a CAA client, is back on a minor league deal or whether he inked a big league deal. If it’s the latter, it’d presumably grant the Dodgers control over Nelson’s 2023 season as well, given that he’s unlikely to pitch for most of the current season. Nelson had Tommy John and flexor repair surgery last August, which should sideline him for the vast majority or the entirety of the upcoming 2022 season.
When healthy, Nelson was a powerhouse in the L.A. bullpen. In 29 innings of relief, Nelson posted a 1.86 ERA while punching out 37.9% of the 116 batters he faced. The former Brewers righty averaged 94 mph on his heater and logged a hefty 14.9% swinging-strike rate during that brief run. It was a notable turnaround from an ugly 2019 campaign that saw Nelson post a near-7.00 ERA in a similar sample of innings while attempting to mend from a notable injury.
Early in his career, Nelson looked well on his way to establishing himself as a key member of the rotation in Milwaukee. From 2015-17, he made 91 starts, tallied 532 innings and notched a collective 4.08 earned run average. Nelson’s 2017 season, in particular, had the makings of a potential high-end starter. In 175 1/3 frames that year, Nelson posted a 3.49 ERA with a big 27.3% strikeout rate against a tiny 6.6% walk rate.
Unfortunately, however, Nelson suffered a torn labrum and a partially torn rotator cuff while sliding into second base in an early September game during that 2017 season. He underwent surgery to repair that shoulder — a procedure that wiped out not only his final month of the ’17 season but his entire 2018 campaign. Nelson returned to the Brewers in 2019 but was limited to just 22 innings by an elbow injury. Milwaukee non-tendered him following the season.
It’s a disheartening sequence of major injuries that have clearly derailed the career of a highly talented hurler. Nelson will spend the bulk of the 2022 season rehabbing, but by the time he makes it back to the mound, he’ll be 33 years old with just 51 total MLB innings under his belt since injuring that shoulder as a 28-year-old. Hopefully, Nelson will be able to put the ongoing arm issues behind him, as it’s clear that when he’s healthy enough to take the hill, he can be an impact part of a big league bullpen.
My names Jimmy & I’ll take all you gimme. Ahahaha!
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Did they sign Ricky too or did he ghost ’em?
Diving back into the bag shredded his shoulder. Was never the same after. True shame because his career was taking off before that
Yeah that still stings but I’m happy when he was healthy he had a good season last year.
He had that and took a liner off the head from STL. Guy couldn’t catch a break in a brewers uniform.
Yeah…it wasn’t sliding into second, it was diving back into first. On a ball he hit off of the left field wall in Miller Park.
Not advisable to dive back into a base when you’re a pitcher.
tantalizing talent. Have to admire the Dodgers’ patience
Nelson’s persistence is amazing. With all the injuries and rehabilitations he’s gone through, it must be difficult to keep playing
Jimmy is the reason the universal DH should have always been in place. A top talent pitching career lost to base-running should not be a thing… ever.
Should also ban motorcycles while they’re at it
John Rocker fan club
Gary Busey approves
hmmm, running the bases is baseball, was baseball, will be baseball. Pitchers will continue to be used as pinch-runners at times even with DH
Pitchers hitting is garbage, has been garbage for 80 years, would always be garbage had baseball not finally, a century late, come to their senses.
There is nothing “purist” about watching a pitcher try, nearly hopelessly, to hit a baseball.
Hitting is for hitters.
Does he immediately go to the 60 day IL?
What’s the point in signing him to a one year deal if he is going to be out most of the year. It should have been a two year deal.
Club option for 2023. It’s essentially a two-year deal but Dodgers can opt out if rehab is not going well or situation changes in off-season. I’d guess that it was structured as a low salary in 2022 and higher amount option in 2023.
It was diving back to 1B, not sliding into 2B.
Smart move by the Dodgers. They get to watch him rehab every day then have the option to keep him if he’s healthy or cut him with likely minimal investment if not.
I like it . Hit the 60-Day… doesn’t take up a roster spot… if I’m not mistaken
I guess it’s a good thing for Nelson that they raised the league minimum salary.
I was hoping the Tigers would make a run at Jimmy Nelson.