“[Shawn] Kelley had some nerve problems. He couldn’t feel his fingers,” Dusty Baker told reporters on Friday night, after the 33-year-old veteran reliever was lifted from his outing against the New York Mets in Citi Field.
Both Kelley and Baker said it was something like the issue the right-hander dealt with at the end of the 2016 campaign, when he left the mound in the middle of an inning during the Washington Nationals’ loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of their NLDS matchup.
“It was similar to what he had last year, and he said he threw that pitch and he couldn’t feel his fingers,” Baker said, “so that’s the first indication — I’m not a doctor — but first indication that there’e something going on with the nerve there, so we hate to see that because he was on the DL earlier, he was trying to get his act back together, so we’ll just have to see tomorrow.”
Baker added then that he didn’t think it was an issue with Kelley’s elbow, which was good news, considering the righty already had Tommy John surgery twice, but the Nats’ skipper said they wouldn’t know anything until the doctors had a look.
“He didn’t say anything about his elbow,” Baker explained.
“He could just feel it in the forearm, which a lot of times is connected, but we just can’t jump to conclusions until he sees a doctor.”
On Saturday afternoon, the manager and reliever provided updates before the second of three for the Nationals and Mets in Citi Field.
“He has some nerve problems there,” Baker said, “because last night we took him out — you’re always apprehensive when a guy is not feeling his fingers. He’s going back for further tests, some extensive tests, so we’ll know next week about Shawn.”
“We’ve still got to talk more to the doctors and the trainers and do a couple more tests and try to get a good picture of what’s going on,” Kelley told reporters.
“There is obviously some inflammation and some discomfort,” he added.
“And I obviously couldn’t get out of an inning last night physically, but there’s no definitive solution at this point right now?”
Kelley did say that he already had an MRI on his right arm.
“There was an MRI this morning, but we’re still talking about that, and the doctors are still kind of seeing what they think about that and how that looks.”
He reiterated, however, that he didn’t think it was an issue with his elbow.
“I feel really good as far as like the UCL stuff and the ‘Tommy John’ stuff, I feel like that’s not really an issue,” Kelley said.
“It’s trying to diagnose what’s causing the swelling, the tingling, the numbness and then trying to fix that.”