SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rather than remain behind in extended Spring Training, Jimmy Nelson expects to take his rehab on the road with the Brewers at the start of the regular season.Nelson, recovering from right shoulder surgery, is up to 90 feet in his flat-ground throwing program but won't get back
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rather than remain behind in extended Spring Training, Jimmy Nelson expects to take his rehab on the road with the Brewers at the start of the regular season.
Nelson, recovering from right shoulder surgery, is up to 90 feet in his flat-ground throwing program but won't get back on a mound until after the Brewers leave Arizona. He will not travel with the team to Houston for a pair of late-March exhibitions, but he tentatively plans to join the club in San Diego for Opening Day.
The current plan calls for Nelson to throw off a mound sometime after the team heads home to Miller Park.
• Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Gear
"If everything goes well at 105 feet and 120 feet and so on, I can get off the bump pretty quick after we break camp," Nelson said. "Obviously I want [pitching coach Derek Johnson] there and our medical staff, who I've been working with for a while. You don't want to develop bad habits when you're starting to get back on the mound. I was in a good place last year, and it's making sure that everything falls into place like it's supposed to.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
"Mentally, being up there with the guys is going to be good for me."
Once he gets off a mound, Nelson will have to go through his own personal Spring Training progression of bullpens, live batting practice and rehab starts. His return to game action for the Brewers remains to be determined.
Job security suits Pina
Catcher Manny Pina is in his 10th big league camp, and this is the first time he's been assured of an Opening Day roster spot.
"It's different," Pina said. "Last year, I just needed to be good on my bat, my defense. This year, I'm focused more on [making] the pitchers more comfortable when I catch. More connection. That's my focus."
Pina served as the Brewers' designated hitter on Wednesday against the Royals after getting treatment for a sore right calf. He said the issue was so minor that he wouldn't even have raised it with the team's athletic training staff while he was battling for a job last year at this time.
• Team Glasses may have lost a member starting with Wednesday's 10-6 win over the Royals. Reliever Josh Hader, who has consistently worn sport glasses on the mound soon after he was traded from the Astros to the Brewers in 2015, pitched for the first time in contact lenses against the Royals.
"When it's cold and I'm sweating and my hat is down, there's nowhere for the air to get through and it fogs up my glasses," Hader said. "I figured I would see how this goes."
It went well. Hader dealt a scoreless eighth inning.
• Brewers prospect Mauricio Dubon has a reputation as a plus defender, but he has not shown it this spring. Dubon misplayed a ground ball in the seventh for a run-scoring error, giving him five errors in 11 Cactus League games. Dubon did contribute a hit and two RBIs at the plate.
• Brewers' Top 30 prospects
"He's in a little slump defensively. I think we've seen that," Counsell said. "A Spring Training slump. It's better to have it now than when we get going."
Ryan Braun and Lorenzo Cain are expected back in action Thursday when the Brewers host the D-backs on Thursday at Maryvale Baseball Park. Anderson, a candidate to start Opening Day even before Zach Davies' sustained a minor oblique strain, is scheduled to throw his first pitch at 2:05 p.m. CT on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.