Dodgers Injury Updates: Jimmy Nelson Begins Rehab Assignment; Bobby Miller Scheduled For Season Debut

Although the Los Angeles Dodgers are in need of reinforcements for their pitching staff, it was Triple-A Oklahoma City that received a pair of pitchers for their roster with Jimmy Nelson and Bobby Miller both joining the team.

Of course, the duo pitching for OKC is the next step before they can eventually join the Dodgers, so it is a positive development nonetheless.

Nelson began his rehab assignment by completing one scoreless inning on 16 pitches against the Sacramento River Cats on April 25. He gave up one hit, struck out one and walked one.

Nelson was expected to earn a spot in the Dodgers bullpen when the club signed him to a one-year deal, but he struggled throughout Spring Training and began the season on the 15-day injured list with right elbow inflammation.

The 33-year-old was making his first game appearances since undergoing Tommy John Surgery in 2021, and he was also sidelined in 2020 after undergoing season-ending back surgery. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts emphasized a need for patience with Nelson, who has not pitched much over the last three years.

The Dodgers “completely believe” in Nelson and Roberts expressed optimism the veteran reliever will be able to rebound, but he has a long way to go before he emerges as a high-leverage option was again.

Nelson last pitched 29 innings for the Dodgers in the 2021 season, posting a 1.86 ERA and 0.93 WHIP.

Nelson spent most of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers after they drafted him out of The University of Alabama during the 2010 MLB Draft. Previously a starter, he’s pitched 662.1 career innings since his debut in 2013 with a 4.12 ERA.

He also finished ninth in National League Cy Young voting following the 2017 season.

Bobby Miller making first start of 2023

The Dodgers carried Miller, their top pitching prospect, on their Major League Spring Training roster despite not having him pitch in any Cactus League games.

They said the plan was to slowly build him up and have him gain knowledge while being around the team. Miller also insisted he was fully healthy despite the lack of game action.

“I’m feeling great and better than ever right now,” Miller told in Spring Training. “So I’m ready to get back out there soon. I know coaches and trainers might not have me out there soon, and I understand that. I trust the trainers and coaches with everything. They know what they’re doing.”

But during the end of camp, Miller was experiencing shoulder soreness which sidelined him for the start of the Minor League season.

Now, the 24-year-old is set to start for OKC on Friday against the River Cats in what will be his season debut. He pitched 21.1 innings at the Triple-A level last season, posting a 3.38 ERA.

Miller is a consensus top-50 prospect in MLB and should make his debut for the Dodgers at some point this season. He was previously drafted 29th overall by the Dodgers out of The University of Louisville in 2020.

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