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2022 Diamondbacks Reviews, #15: Kyle Nelson

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Arizona Diamondbacks Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports


  • Rating: 5.65
  • 2022 stats: 43 games, 37.1 innings, 2.19 ERA, 1.081 WHIP and 3.22 FIP. He gave up 26 hits, 10 runs and allowed only one home run (to Kris Bryant, I was just curious). He struck out 30 and walked 14.
  • Date of birth: July 8th, 1996. He will be 27 next season.
  • 2022 salary: He is pre arbitration and spotrac has him listed at $700,000.
  • 2023 status: This will be his second pre arbitration season. He should be ready to pitch and go in spring.

Nelson was originally drafted in the 15th round by the Cleveland Indians in 2017. He pitched in 10 games for them in 2020 and 2021. Of those 10 appearances he gave up 4 or more runs 3 times. The other 6 were pretty much lights out. The Indians put him on November 21, 2021 where we claimed him. Given the timing, I wonder if he was a roster crunch before the Rule 5 Draft, which didn’t end up happening.

Nelson began the season by having a really good April. In 7.2 innings he struck out 8 and only allowed 3 hits and walked 2 batters. He did not give up a run until May 1st against St. Louis and would not give up another until May 31st. During that stretch he pitched in 16 games for 15.2 innings. He allowed 11 hits, walked 2 and struck out 18. His FIP was 1.39 and ERA 1.15.

He allowed earned runs in back to back games on May 31st and June 5th. From June 10th through the 29th he pitched in 9 games for 7 innings and did not allow an earned run, but walked 5 and had a FIP of 4.97.

From July 2nd through August 2nd, he pitched in 10 innings in 11 ballgames. He struck out 7, walked one and gave up the aforementioned home run.

Nelson spent almost a month on the injured list from August 8th through September 1st fue to back soreness. From September 2nd through the 9th, he did not give up a run in 2.2 innings, but walked 5. His last appearance of the year was his worst one, by far. On September 12th, he gave up 3 earned runs to the Dodgers. This appearance made his season ERA jump from 1.46 to 2.19. He did not retire a batter. He was placed in the IL on September 15th due to left elbow inflammation and did not return the rest of the year.

Looking at his game logs, 6 of his 14 walks were in his 5 September appearances after coming back from the previous IL stint. I wonder if his arm was starting to get tired, culminating in the inflammation. His 37 innings pitched was the most since 47 in 2019 in the minors.