Jimmy Nelson Starting vs. Reds, Other Spring Training Notes

(Rick Scuteri/USA TODAY Sports)

As 2021 Spring Training continues, many eyes will be on the pitchers, all of whom might be considered as the present or the future of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Jimmy Nelson will get his second start of the spring against the Reds Tuesday and is more than likely to go the standard two innings that Dodger starters have pitched so far during Cactus League play.

Other pitchers who are expected to take the mound during the nine-inning game are Josiah Gray, Ryan Pepiot, Landon Knack, Corey Knebel, and Scott Alexander.

Knebel and Alexander figure to be competing for bullpen spots, while Gray, Pepiot, Knack, and Nelson may not start the year with the big league club.

Pitchers who still have to make their spring debuts are Brusdar Graterol, Joe Kelly, and Brandon Morrow. Kelly has been battling an injury while Graetrol is behind on his throwing. There is no timeline for when Morrow could appear in a game.

Julio Urias performed well in his start yesterday, going three full innings and allowing no hits against the Chicago White Sox. The Dodger pitching staff would go on to pitch a shutout, as David Price made his spring debut, pitching for the first time in nearly a year.

There has been much speculation as to where Price falls in the plans of the Dodgers, but it’s been reported that the veteran lefty has told President of Baseball Operations Andrew Freidman that he is willing to take on any role. As the competition narrows down for those final rotation spots, it will be interesting to see how the Dodgers handle that.

They pretty much have seven pitchers who could be at the top of any rotation of any other MLB team.

In Tuesday’s game, Nelson will face Reds right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray. First pitch is at 5:05 p.m. Pacific time.

The starting lineup has been posted for the Dodgers.

Also, it was announced today that the Dodgers will play before 21,000 fans on Opening Day against the Rockies in Coors Field.

The Dodgers did announce that they will have fans, although that number is still up in the air due to the health measures placed by Los Angeles County Health Officials.

7 thoughts on “Jimmy Nelson Starting vs. Reds, Other Spring Training Notes

  1. Barring a trade or injury does anyone think Nelson makes the starting rotation? I am aware he had some decent years with Mil but can he crack this line-up? I doubt it.
    The Dodgers owe Urias a chance at a starting rotation slot. Urias has been a team guy and said all the right things but all the young guys want a starting job and I think he has earned his shot. How they utilize him in the playoffs is another discussion entirely.

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  2. Just finished watching Nelson’s two innings, on the replay, I was pretty impressed, with his pitching, especially the breaking ball. If he can consistently pitch like he did today it is going to make it very difficult on Doc, and the front office to figure out what to do with him. It’s easy to forget how good he was in 2017, if he can regain that form, he’ll pitch somewhere.

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    1. He looked good and I agree if he can consistently pitch that way he could start for more than a few teams. But the Dodgers have the best rotation in the league. I am not convinced he can crack it. Nelson and several other pitchers on the fringe are the reason I think the Dodgers will need to make a trade at some point this year or next winter to get a position player for a weak position or young Farm Talent for blocked talent.
      On a separate subject, Lux has looked like his minor league self. He is barrelling up the ball and being aggressive. If he can hit at a high level the Dodger line-up becomes devastating. Listening to Charley Steiner last night and he was giving stats on Will Smith. Smith has one of the best 77 games to start his career as any catcher. More home runs & RBI’s than Piazza or Campanella.

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      1. Urias will be the # 5 UNLESS. They feel he is the best BP option with Gonzalez who seems to be the only LH reliever doing well. Nelson is basically an insurance policy. A proven MLB starter who has enough experience to pitch out of the pen or as a starter. Let’s see how Smith’s career ends up instead of comparing him with two hall of famers. A lot of players have had great starts to their careers and eclipsed some HOF or another’s numbers. Bellinger beat Piazza’s team rookie HR record too remember.

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  3. A few years ago I thought Ruiz would be the catcher of the future for the Dodgers. When smith originally came up to the big leagues, I thought he was only holding the spot for a year until Ruiz was completely ready to take the spot.
    To smith’s credit he grabbed that position by the throat, and barring an injury, no one is taking that position from him.

    I’m happy to be wrong yet again, I think Smith is going to be behind the plate a long time for the Dodgers. I hope the FO can eventually move Ruiz to a team where he can start. AF definitely will have pieces to move in a trade to fill in any weaknesses that he foresees.

    Does anybody know if Nelson can be sent to the minors, or would they have to release him if he doesn’t make the major league squad?

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    1. Bear, just to be clear, it was Steiner doing the comparison I was just quoting him. LOL
      Smith’s numbers are impressive though. According to Steiner his average with runners on base is .378. That is very impressive.
      I know from reading other reports his batted ball velocity was in the top 5 ?? In the MLB last year. The young man is barreling the ball up!

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