MILWAUKEE -- Jimmy Nelson has tried to be his teammates' biggest cheerleader this season while he rehabs from shoulder surgery last year.Now, though, he'll have to cheer the Brewers' postseason quest from his couch.Nelson left the team last week for the club's Spring Training facility in Phoenix at Maryvale Baseball
MILWAUKEE -- Jimmy Nelson has tried to be his teammates' biggest cheerleader this season while he rehabs from shoulder surgery last year.
Now, though, he'll have to cheer the Brewers' postseason quest from his couch.
Nelson left the team last week for the club's Spring Training facility in Phoenix at Maryvale Baseball Park, where he's continuing his rehab with the goal of getting to the mound during instructional league action before the season comes to an end.
Manager Craig Counsell said Nelson threw a bullpen session on Wednesday and that the next step will be for Nelson to throw batting practice to live hitters. Doing so would be almost impossible at the big league level, where expanded rosters eat into most of the early batting-practice opportunities, and with the Minor League seasons over, sending Nelson to Arizona was the most logical solution.
"We'll see how he responds to it, " Counsell said. "He's continuing what he's doing. The next step is live hitters with instructional league hitters."
Nelson has missed all of 2018 after undergoing shoulder surgery last September. The team never had a definitive timetable for his return, and while there was hope ahead of Spring Training that he could be back sometime around the All-Star break, missing the entire season was always a possibility.
Last month, general manager David Stearns said that it was unlikely Nelson would be able to return to the Brewers this season and now, Milwaukee is hoping he can enter the offseason on a high note and be ready for Spring Training in 2019.
"The hope is to get Jimmy back on a mound in a competitive setting and get this to a good conclusion for everyone involved," Stearns said. "He's worked really hard to get to this point. This hopefully will give him the opportunity to do that and head into the offseason with some peace of mind."
Andrew Wagner is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.