Chicago White Sox reliever Jeff Nelson said Wednesday he will have surgery on a nerve in his elbow next week, a procedure that will probably end the 39-year-old right-hander's career.
Nelson was 0-1 and allowed a run and three hits in 2-2/3 innings in six appearances since the White Sox purchased his contract from Class AAA Charlotte on May 23. The ex-Mariner ranks sixth among active pitchers with 798 career appearances.
He agreed to a minor-league contract with the White Sox on May 2 after being released by St. Louis on March 29.
Nelson went on the disabled list on Sunday. Recovery time from the surgery is expected to be three months, and Nelson said he was already looking at this as his last season.
"If they told me that I wouldn't do any more damage then I would have kept pitching," Nelson said.
Earlier Wednesday he said he was not in pain.
"They were really adamant in me going to see somebody and get this thing fixed. Not just baseball-wise, but future-wise," he added.
Nelson said he would miss pitching, if he indeed has done it for the last time.
"I've given my heart and soul to this game," he said. "I've always gone out there and taken the ball and there's never been any excuses."
Nelson had three stints with the Mariners (1992-95, 2001-03, '05) and compiled a 3.26 earned-run average with the team. He was on four World Series championship teams with the New York Yankees.
Baltimore: The Orioles shuffled their coaching staff, replacing first-base coach Dave Cash with Rick Dempsey, whose job as bullpen coach was filled by minor-league pitching coach Larry McCall. Cash, who was reassigned, told the team he would need some time to decide whether to stay with the organization.
Chicago: The White Sox put RH reliever Cliff Politte on the 15-day DL with a sore right shoulder and called up RHP Sean Tracey from AAA Charlotte.
Detroit: C Ivan Rodriguez was out of the starting lineup with a sore back. "It's tight," Rodriguez said. "I just woke up like that yesterday, and it didn't get loose. It's a lot better." ... LF Craig Monroe was forced to leave when he sprained his right ankle leaping against the fence in an attempt to catch a third-inning triple by Scott Podsednik. X-rays were negative, and Monroe will be re-evaluated today.
Kansas City: DH Mike Sweeney swung a bat for the first time since he went on the DL on May 2 with a bulging disk. He said the back was pain-free and "felt great. Hopefully I can get back soon."
New York: The game between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox was postponed because of rain. No makeup date was announced, though the game will likely be rescheduled as part of a doubleheader during Boston's final trip to Yankee Stadium from Sept. 15-17.
Oakland: 3B Eric Chavez (lower back tightness) was a late scratch.
Tampa Bay: The Devil Rays activated LHP Casey Fossum (strained left groin) from the DL and optioned RHP Doug Waechter to AAA Durham.
Seattle Times news services