A Little Background on Jimmy Nelson

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(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Following some patterns of our recent discussions, the Dodgers on Tuesday morning reportedly signed pitcher Jimmy Nelson to a one-year contract.

Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times was among the first to reveal the news. According to the information shared by Castillo, Nelson will have every opportunity to earn a spot in the big league starting rotation right out of spring training. Should that particular scenario not work out, the Dodgers will apparently consider him to play a role as a major league reliever.

He has no option years remaining on his contract.

The deal guarantees Nelson at least $1 million.

As indicated in Castillo’s tweet, the 30-year-old native of Oregon will have a chance to earn over $3 million in 2020 if he stays healthy. Additionally, Nelson’s contract contains a vesting mutual option. If he finds a way to remain a Dodger through the 2021 season, there’s a possibility he can bring home more than $13 million across those two years.

The 6-foot-6, 250-lb. right-hander was originally selected by the Brewers out of the University of Alabama in the second round of the 2020 MLB draft. His best year as a big leaguer came in 2017 when he went 12-6 with a 3.49 ERA and 199 strikeouts over 29 starts and 179-1/3 innings of work.

One of the glaring blemishes on Nelson’s stat chart is the whopping 86 walks he issued over 179 innings in 2016. Consequently, he issued 48 walks over 175 frames in 2017 and 65 walks in 177 innings during the 2015 season.

Over the course of his six-year, major league career, he has gone 33-46 with a 4.22 ERA, a 4.11 FIP and a 1.372 WHIP. He has struck out 578 batters and allowed 240 walks in 119 games and 633-1/3 innings of work. He has a career ERA+ of 99. His lifetime walk ratio sits at 3.41 BB/9. He has never posted an annual bWAR over 0.0.

Nelson missed the entire 2018 season after having surgery for a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder. He dealt with significant elbow issues last year, pitching in just 22 innings over 10 games, three of which were starts. The three starts came in June and the seven appearances in relief came in September. Over those 22 innings, he issued 17 walks.

To clear space on their 40-man roster, the Brewers non-tendered him in December.

As far as his repertoire goes, Nelson primarily throws four pitches—a four-seam, a sinker, a slider and a curve. Occasionally, he mixes in a variation of a change. Before his shoulder surgery in 2018, his heater mostly sat in the 94-95 MPH range. However, since his return, he has lost a few ticks, as he has lived right around 92-93 MPH.

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In other news, the team signed another pitcher Tuesday afternoon in Edubray Ramos. The 27-year-old righty reliever appeared in 173 career games with the Phillies, posting a 3.71 ERA and 168 punchouts over 155-1/3 innings. His contract is a minor league deal that includes an invite to the big league side of spring training.

The moves by the Dodgers come two days after team president Stan Kasten told reporters that he expects his club to exceed MLB’s imposed Luxury Tax Threshold at some point during the upcoming season.

 

42 thoughts on “A Little Background on Jimmy Nelson

  1. They plan to exceed the LT at some point. Only 40 more Nelson’s to go.

    I’m going to lunch with my in-laws. They are 92 and 97 and no doubt will more exciting than anything the Dodgers are currently doing.

    Later…….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One question – does Nelson have any options left? If so, it would be nice if he could at least work a few things out at OKC if necessary. I’d hate to think AF keeps him on the roster all year if he isn’t at least the 13th best pitcher on the staff.

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      1. I never said you had to be truthful Dennis. If this signing works out it will be great but it could cause someone to lose his spot on the 26-man that would be more useful. I guess at a little over 1 mil guaranteed they could always cut him if he really isn’t producing. This tells me that we probably won’t be seeing Price or Clevinger any time soon.

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      2. The Dodgers are quickly becoming the Medicaid/Senior Home of Major League baseball. 3rd place this year in the scheme of things. Another minus for the 3 stooges of Kastin/Friedman/Roberts who suffer from dementia.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I like this move, but it doesn’t make up for the bleh winter sentiments that I continue to have regarding the Dodgers.

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      1. A bit of an overstatement, but I get your drift. He certainly does it on the fringes hoping to strike gold. I don’t like it, if it holds back the young guys.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Check his record Gary, and the transaction page on baseballreference.com. You can go all the way back to when he first took the reins in Nov of 2014. He has signed so many fringe and coming off of injury type players that it is not funny. He gives Brett Anderson a 10 million dollar deal after he wins 10 games, and the guy pitches one inning all year. He gives Koehler a 2 million dollar deal and the guy goes down in spring and never pitches an inning. It is his modus operandi. He looks for the low cost high return players almost as if it is his religion. So, no, I am not over stating anything.

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      3. I don’t disagree, he seems to come up with WTF signings every year. But, these are on the fringes of the roster, not how he puts a team together, Fortunately, he also covets his prospects and likes to build from within, as the current roster is full of home grown players.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah, they are fringe guys, but if you look on the Dodger web site, Nelson was signed to be part of the rotation. If healthy, he can be a help. I remember him throwing a huge game at the Dodgers a couple of years ago. No, AF does not want to trade his best prospects. In a way I do not blame him because in baseball there are no guarantees. I do not remember over the years the Dodgers trading top prospects who became stars somewhere else until this year when Jordan Alvarez made it big for Houston. He was the player traded for Josh Fields, but he was no where near a top prospect. None of the players traded to Baltimore for Machado were top prospects either. Probably the highest rated prospect he traded was Calhoun when they got Darvish.

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  4. Nelson if he is healthy can be really nasty. But there is that word again. IF. Bigger story is that they now know the Red Sox miss used electronic devices to steal signs in 2018 up to and through the World Series. The last thing baseball needs is a cheating scandal involving multiple teams, but they have one.

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    1. I would trade for a front line starter and a right handed bat. It might cost you something, but that is where the need is right now. Price is a nice innings eater, but not really a front line starter. Betts fills the bat part, but i think if anything like that is to happen, AF needs to expand his search away from Cleveland and Boston. Nelson can also start. But i am talking about a solid #3.

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      1. Trade with a team who has no shot at making the playoffs. Like KC, or the Pirates or even the O’s I like Archer and Musgrove from Pittsburgh. I think the Dodgers could turn Archer around. Daniel Norris of the Tigers is another I like, and Mathew Boyd, also of the Tigers.

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      2. Totally agree Bear. If we’re going to trade for a good starter before ST the place to look is with non-competitive teams who would be willing to take prospects for a good pitcher but wouldn’t insist on Lux or May. I haven’t checked out those rosters for awhile although I can tell you that I think we need someone better than the pitcher Archer has been for the last couple of years.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. True, but I think Archers problem may be between his ears. He has nasty strikeout stuff and a change of venue might be just the ticket.

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  5. I like the Nelson signing, not much risk, if he comes close to 2017 he would be an impact pitcher, if not we still have our young guys to fill the 4 and 5 slots on the staff.

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    1. So we have two if they return to form bullpen pitchers. And Kelly. Sounds like Kershaw in the 7th again.

      Yankees Braves. Yankees in 5.

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    1. Bullpen. 3rd starter. Manager.

      Of course, I could be wrong. I was wrong in ‘66, again in ‘78, a couple times in the 80s, though I was high a lot in all those decades. I’ve been clean and sober for quite a while now but I find clarity confusing.

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  6. Scoop I totally agree. The bullpen is a total question mark. And I think we need a co ace with Buehler for the playoffs. We can’t rely on October Kersh any longer as a number two. And our playoff offense has been underwhelming at best the last 3 years. Belly, Seager and others need to step up their October games if we have any hope at all. This team needs help and good fortune that the youngsters develop quickly into stars. Urias, May and Lux!

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    1. I think Urias and May belong in the rotation and Gonsolin belongs in the pen. If it works out we are still a playoff team. Buehler and Kershaw are a decent 1-2 if they have 3-4 innings of strong pen behind them. Maeda will not be the #3 because Roberts has no late season faith in him. May and Urias will probably have empty tanks by October. I don’t know that but it just makes sense to me. Roberts is Roberts. He’s going to do something unconventional. Who knows – maybe this time it works.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Urias is definitely going to be in the rotation this year. That was stated at the end of the season, and probably one of the reasons they did not re-sign Ryu. May most likely will be there too. Maeda’s agent told LA if they were not going to use him exclusively as a starter that he would like a trade, and they told him he needs to step up his game. So lets see if Kenta changes the way he attacks hitters as a starter, which is one of his faults. He is more aggressive out of the pen.

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  7. How about they add Arodys Vizcaino to the pen? He is a free agent, would not cost much, and he has some nasty stuff. He has been a closer before and has had some success. His ERA over the last 3 years is under 3. Pittsburgh has a lot of holes Jefe. I am pretty sure they would like some young pitching if they were trading a pitcher, Someone like White who does not immediately fit into the Dodger plans and say Edwin Rios, who also is another redundant LH bat.

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      1. Maybe they should have signed Vizcaino instead of Nelson. Now the roster is full, so they can only sign minor league deals or dump somebody. I for one, think the bullpen can be one of the best, with the arms we have. Certainly, the Dodgers are counting on Jansen, Kelly and Treinan, Stripling and Baez for sure and I think Ferguson, Kolarek, Alexander, Floro and Sadler just need to be more consistent and stay healthy. They have all shown to be competent at times. They won’t find a stud in a trade without giving up a top prospect and even then your are rolling the dice.

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    1. I would definitely take a chance on Vizcaino but if past experience with shoulder injuries is any indication he probably won’t be really right until 2021. Other teams have worked out 2 year contracts with the idea that the pitcher wouldn’t contribute much in the first year. I say go for it.
      White and Rios for Archer – I would think the Pirates might go for that except that they gave up quite a bit to get him so might ask for more. On the other hand, we would need to be pretty sure we could fix Archer or we’re just giving away prospects for nothing. He has one year left at 9 mil plus a team option for 2021 at 11 mil.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Like I said, I think most of it is confidence. He has some nasty stuff. Rios is redundant, and White not close to contributing. I really like Musgrove too. AF should know Archer. Didn’t he draft him at Tampa?

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      2. White was dominant at Tulsa last year, but struggled at OKC. He is considered to have three plus pitches, so he certainly will be coached up during the Spring with the idea of possibly contributing this year at some point.

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    2. Rios should be a trade piece, but the Pirates are set at 1B with Bell and 3B as well. What they need is a C (Barnes would probably not meet their expectations) and pitching. White had a rough time of it at AAA last year, but the Dodgers are still high on his potential. But you are right, in that the Dodgers side of a trade has to include 40 man roster pieces, as they are now full with the signing of Nelson.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There has been some chatter about them moving Bell if he kicks their butt in arbitration. They have needs, the Dodgers have multiple pieces they could offer, and if White were not one of them, they might want Sborz or some other pitcher on the team.

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