Dodgers News: Jimmy Nelson Confident In Ability To Fill Any Role

Led by the offensive contributions of Chris Taylor and Justin Turner, the Los Angeles Dodgers extended their winning streak to two games with Tuesday’s 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear Ballpark.

On the pitching side, Jimmy Nelson set the tone with an impressive second start, needing all of 20 pitches to get through two scoreless innings. “It was pretty good,” he said after coming out of the game.

“Obviously the up-down is just another step, and I was happy with how it went. I was able to mix in some more offspeed in early counts and execute our gameplan.”

After feeling healthy coming out of his 2021 debut against the Chicago Cubs last week, Nelson reiterated he is in a good place physically. “I’ve been feeling good. I was feeling really good coming into Spring Training with my offseason bullpens and all my work,” Nelson said.

“Just continuing from that. Like I said, it’s just step by step. The body has been bouncing back well and physically I’m feeling really good.”

Nelson, who re-signed with the Dodgers on a Minor League contract over the offseason, is encouraged by his opportunity to contribute this season. He is one of several pitchers vying for a spot in the Dodgers’ starting rotation.

However, the expectation is that Julio Urias will receive the nod, potentially shifting the likes of Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May to the bullpen.

While the Dodgers view Nelson as a starter, he is also open to pitching out of the bullpen. “I can do anything. I’ll do any role they want me to do,” Nelson said.

“I don’t think it will be an issue physically. I just want to pitch and help us win. Whatever role that is, I’m open to anything.”

Roberts praises Nelson for willingness to pitch out of bullpen

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was pleased to hear that Nelson is willing to take on a relief role if it helps the team. “It’s good to hear. Obviously just being a great teammate and understanding who’s on our roster potentially,” Roberts said.

“I think right now it’s more of continue to build him up just like David and our other starters. When we get to March 31st and we have to make a decision, we’ll do so. Right now I’m sticking to we’ve got seven or eight starters.”

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