LOS ANGELES — Dodgers pitcher Jimmy Nelson will undergo surgery on his lower back on Tuesday in Los Angeles, the team announced Monday.
The procedure, which will be performed by Dr. Robert Watkins, ends Nelson’s season.
“It’s been something that’s been lingering for quite some time,” manager Dave Roberts said. “With him we just couldn’t get him on track. Physically there were days that he felt well, but then the back, the arm, different things kept popping up. So we just couldn’t get any traction with him. I know he was frustrated throughout the spring and after quarantining and getting some time off he just never really came around.”
It’s been a rough three years for Nelson, who had a career year with the Brewers in 2017, posting a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts, with 199 strikeouts in 175⅓ innings. He missed all of 2018 and after right shoulder surgery, and was limited to just 22 innings last season with Milwaukee due to elbow problems.
Nelson signed a one-year, incentive-laden contract with the Dodgers worth a total of $1.25 million guaranteed. The deal includes a $2 million club option for 2021, with a $500,000 buyout.
The right-hander turned 31 in June.
Once Nelson is placed on the 45-day injured list (the usual 60-day IL is shorter this year), coupled with David Price placed on the restricted list after deciding to sit out the season, the Dodgers will have two open spots on the 40-man roster.
Their club player pool remains officially at 51 players, with the loss of Price and Nelson countered with the additions of pitchers AJ Ramos, signed to a minor league deal last week, and Clayton Beeter, the Dodgers’ supplemental second-round draft pick who just signed. Coincidentally both Ramos and Beeter pitched in college at Texas Tech.
Ramos will wear uniform number 44 with the Dodgers.