Nelson Undergoes Wrist Surgery

June 17, 2009 | 3:05 pm | 2  

Double-A Tulsa shortstop Chris Nelson underwent season-ending surgery Wednesday to repair a ligament tear in his right wrist.

Dr. Don Sheridan, a hand specialist based in Scottsdale, Ariz., performed the surgery on Nelson, 24, the ninth player taken overall in the 2004 draft who hit .280 with four homers and 17 RBI for the Drillers in 29 games, the last on May 22.

The Rockies and Nelson were hoping he could stay healthy this year, return to Tulsa after a poor year there in 2009 and after a period of success, move up to Triple-A Colorado Springs. That didn’t happen and, instead, Nelson’s season at Tulsa was cut short by injury for the second straight year.

Nelson, 24, was limited by a broken hamate bone to 73 games last year at Tulsa where he hit .237 with three homers and 42 RBI. In two seasons with the Drillers, Nelson had 390 at-bats.

Drillers pitcher Chaz Roe is scheduled to start Friday at Arkansas, making his first appearance since he strained his left oblique May 7. Roe is 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA in five starts for the Drillers.

Left-hander Franklin Morales threw 57 of 97 pitches for strikes Tuesday for Colorado Springs. That’s well below the desired 2:1 ratio of strikes to balls but about the norm for Morales.

In his first start for the Sky Sox since being optioned to them Friday, Morales allowed five hits and one run in 6 1/3 innings at Salt Lake with three walks and three strikeouts. He was the losing pitcher as the Sky Sox fell 1-0.

Morales threw 40 of 57 fastballs for strikes, ranging from 85 mph to 92 mph with that pitch and averaging 88 mph, which is the low end of major-league average.

Morales and Jorge De La Rosa, who had a poor start Tuesday for the Rockies, are both scheduled to pitch again Sunday.

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2 Comments »

  • Julian | June 17, 2009 | 3:22 pm

    Chris Nelson’s injury has allowed Mayora to get plenty of playing time at Tulsa, and he just made the all-star team. What can you tell us about Mayora? How strong of a major league prospect is he?

    It sounds from your article that Morales is not quite ready to return to the Rockies. If De La Rosa continues to falter, or any of the other starting pitches falter or get injured, who is next in line to be a starter for the Rockies? It appears that there’s a lot more talent at starting pitcher at Tulsa than Colorado Springs, but I would be surprised if any of the Tulsa pitchers are ready to jump to the major leagues yet (although it appears that Chacin pitched a strong game last night).

  • Jack Etkin | June 17, 2009 | 4:53 pm

    Julian,

    Mayora is seen as a utility type in the majors, at best, more likely projected to go up and down from the majors to Triple-A. Danny Sandoval was signed to play SS at Tulsa in the wake of Nelson’s injury because it’s not a position Mayora can play daily. His best position is 2B and he can fill in short-term on the left side of the IF. He’s a gap hitter whose bat is his strength.