Diamondbacks’ Kyle Nelson to miss extended time with TOS surgery

Apr 30, 2024, 5:58 PM

Pitcher Kyle Nelson...

Pitcher Kyle Nelson #24 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws against the Colorado Rockies in the eighth inning at Coors Field on April 09, 2024 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Kyle Nelson is going to miss significant time recovering from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery, manager Torey Lovullo announced on Tuesday.

Nelson met with specialist Dr. Gregory Pearl in Texas, who will perform the procedure. The Mayo Clinic defines TOS as pressure on the blood vessels or nerves between one’s neck and shoulder.

The D-backs moved Nelson from the 15-day injured list to the 60-day IL to open a 40-man roster spot for fellow southpaw Brandon Hughes.

“Kyle Nelson has been trying to gut this out and eventually spoke up,” Lovullo said. “It’s unfortunate that he’s gonna have to step away and miss some time. But he’s gonna get healthy and help us win games. That should be his mindset.

“He’s got a great example of what that can turn into if and I know he’s had conversations with Merrill (Kelly). He’ll find his way back to being healthy and pitching at the high level that we expect him to and the way he has in the past.”

Kelly underwent TOS surgery and had a rib removed in 2020 after he suffered a blood clot in his shoulder. Kelly had the procedure in September 2020 and made his first start of the 2021 season. Reliever Ryan Thompson also went through it in 2021, and he famously has a necklace with his removed rib attached.

Lovullo said Nelson had been pitching through some discomfort even before a recent stretch of games in which he had been hit around.

Nelson started the season with 9.1 scoreless innings across eight appearances with seven strikeouts. He gave up five earned runs and recorded only four outs over his last three appearances. He was bit by a couple home runs, including a walk-off from St. Louis Cardinals pinch hitter Nolan Gorman.

“He came out hot, throwing the ball really well to start the season,” Lovullo said. “I think it just backed up on him enough where he started to start to speak up. So I think it was a little was before he actually started to get hit around.”

TOS is not common in MLB but there have been several examples beyond Kelly and Thompson over the years (Stephen Strasburg and Chris Archer for example).

A pitcher is unlikely to return until at least 12 weeks after TOS surgery, according to

Nelson is the third Diamondbacks pitcher on the 60-day IL along with Drey Jameson and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Jameson is out for the year after Tommy John surgery, while Rodriguez had a setback in his rehab from a lat strain and is not eligible to return until late May at the earliest.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte...

Alex Weiner

What has made Diamondbacks star Ketel Marte’s hitting streak so unique?

Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte ended one of Major League Baseball's rarest streaks in history. 

8 hours ago

Relief pitcher Joe Mantiply...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks rolling with an opener against Dodgers

The Diamondbacks will start Joe Mantiply as an opener against the Dodgers on Monday at Chavez Ravine, manager Torey Lovullo announced. 

10 hours ago

Arizona Diamondbacks' Randal Grichuk...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks prevent go-ahead, inside-the-park HR in win over Tigers

The Diamondbacks cut down a potential game-winning inside-the-park home run against the Tigers and avoided a series sweep.

10 hours ago

Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks slides into third base with a first inning triple aga...

Damon Allred

Diamondbacks’ Corbin Carroll catches Tigers napping with breakaway triple

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll was aggressive in the lead-off spot against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.

13 hours ago

Starter Zac Gallen...

Alex Weiner

Rebuilding mounds and jawing dugouts: Diamondbacks drop another weird game to Tigers

The Diamondbacks fell to the Tigers in a game that had jawing from the dugouts and a disagreements on what the mound should feel like.

1 day ago

Geraldo Perdomo...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Geraldo Perdomo a couple weeks from return, per Torey Lovullo

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo gave the most clear timetable for shortstop Geraldo Perdomo's return yet.

1 day ago

Diamondbacks’ Kyle Nelson to miss extended time with TOS surgery