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Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley turned to DL with nervous irritation

SAN FRANCISCO – Shawn Kelley did not suspect something was wrong with his right elbow when he ran out of the visitors' bullpen and ended up throwing his warm-up pitches in the sixth inning. Monday night at AT & T Park. Then, in his first pitch in a game in a week, the Washington Nationals felt a familiar feeling when he saw Mac Williamson crush a 464-foot homer and two runs.

Right away, Kelley said: He felt something was not right. He was not receiving the proper extension. The ball did not have life. His next two pitches were a fast ball of 89 mph for a ball and a slider of 78 mph for a strike. Then he made a pitch, which convinced coach Paul Lessard to come out of the dugout. That ended Kelley's night. After the game, national manager David Martinez said Kelley is dealing with ulnar nerve irritation, a troubling diagnosis for a pitcher who has undergone two Tommy John surgeries. He is likely to go to the disabled list.

"It's another day in the life of my elbow," Kelley said.

Kelley had not appeared in a game since throwing six pitches on April 16 against the Mets. But he got up in the bullpen to warm up at least a couple of times during the period of inactivity and maintained that he felt better than in years, which he said made it unexpected what happened on Monday.

"I know it's early, but for me, by April, especially in cold weather, my speed has increased, my strength has been good," Kelley said. "The things that I've been doing in the weight room and training room with the guys have been really good, probably the best thing I've felt in years …

" This is a bit disconcerting. Like I said, sometimes I can point to something or think of something, but it was kind of a scratch this time. "

If Kelley enters the disabled list, it will be his fourth period in the past, 11 months. last season with injuries to the back, neck and elbow, he received an elbow injection last fall to accelerate recovery, ending a season in which he posted a 7.27 ERA in 26 innings and the best home run rate in between. relievers in baseball

"You know, I've been through a lot of shit in my arm and my career that I just try not to worry too much or think too much about the future," Kelley said. "Come tomorrow and you'll see." Sometimes it bounces in. Rest a bit, come back tomorrow and do some exercises, do some things and get in touch with the coaches and doctors to see where it is, I can usually tell in a couple of days if it's starting to calm down or if It's something more serious. Mar a few days to rest and return to throw a baseball.

Kelley, 33, signed a three-year contract worth $ 15 million before the 2016 season. He began his national mandate by throwing a 2.64 ERA and striking out 12.4 batters for every nine innings in 67 appearances. . The performance as Washington's top coach put him in competition for the closest role in the final spring training session, and he was given the job in April before reaching the disabled list the first time. He has now allowed 15 homers in 32 innings over the past two seasons, including three homers against the last 15 batters he has faced, and his immediate future is not clear yet again.

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