Dodgers News: Jimmy Nelson Hopeful To Return During Braves Series

Of the 12 players the Los Angeles Dodgers currently have on the injured list, nine are pitchers and seven are members of the bullpen. The group includes Jimmy Nelson, who has been out since May 23 (retroactive to May 21) due to right forearm inflammation.

“It was just forearm and elbow kind of getting a little sore. It was something that was kind of increasing as I was throwing more, so we just kind of shut it down and addressed the issue,” Nelson explained.

“That was one of the main reasons I came back here, was this medical staff and strength staff. Knowing they do a great job of helping me stay on the field and if little stuff like this popped up, that they would be very quick to address, treat and make any fixes. Whether it was mechanical or anything like that.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed confidence at the time that Nelson’s arm trouble was caught early and he would likely only be on the 10-day IL for a brief period of time. That’s appearing to hold true as the right-hander has continued to move along the rehab process.

That entailed Nelson facing batters at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, which could amount into the final hurdle that needed to be cleared. “It went well. Pretty standard live BP, all good,” Nelson said. “Assuming I’m going to bounce back and feel good, and just go from there.”

Roberts reiterated Nelson will travel with the Dodgers on Thursday and could be activated for the weekend series with the Atlanta Braves. “I hope so,” answered Nelson when asked if that was the plan. “We’ll just have to see, I guess.”

Though a starting pitcher by trade, Nelson has thrived in a bullpen role this season, going 1-1 with a 2.41 ERA, 1.86 FIP, 1.18 WHIP and 14.5 strikeouts per nine over 18.2 innings pitched across 16 games (one start). He strung together seven consecutive scoreless appearances before landing on the IL.

“Kind of not making it something bigger than what it is is probably the biggest thing,” Nelson said of adjusting to a role out of the bullpen. “It’s the same game, your objective is the same. It’s just a little different the way you warm up and come into the game.

“I feel like routine-wise and things I’ve been able to do to adjust have gotten better as time has gone on. I feel in a pretty good place with all my preparation coming out of the ‘pen.”

Nelson, Price bonding

A fellow starter who accepted a relief role with the Dodgers this season, David Price recently raved about the relationship he formed with Nelson as catch partner.

“D.P. is awesome, man. He’s one of those guys that’s just a huge presence in that clubhouse,” Nelson said. “An awesome guy to have on the team. It was just one of those things coming into Spring Training, we paired up as throwing partners.

“We had both been starters — obviously him at a much larger scale and for longer — and we both missed 2020. So I think there was a mutual respect between both of us understanding we were both going to go through some adjustments as time went on.

“It’s been fun to watch his progress. It’s kind of us challenging each other but also pulling for each other a lot as well. It’s just been great to have him in the ‘pen, in the clubhouse, as a good friend and somebody to look up to and try to mimic.”

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