Righty relieved to feel normal after dealing with tingling in throwing hand
By Pat James
ATLANTA -- After throwing a 92-mph fastball to Miguel Cabrera on Friday night, Braves right-hander Tyrell Jenkins feared the worst as he strolled to the back of the mound with a tingling sensation in his throwing hand.
A victim of lat injuries in 2012 and '13, the right-hander exited the Braves' 6-2 loss to the Tigers with two outs in the eighth inning with what the club called ulnar neuritis, essentially a pinched nerve in the elbow, and lacked feeling in his hand for most of the night.
But when he awoke Saturday morning, the 24-year-old was relieved to feel normal again.
"Waking up and getting the feeling back was the biggest thing," said Jenkins, who was scheduled to undergo a full assessment as a precaution. "Obviously, the doctor will be here in a little bit. We'll look at it a little bit more, but right now everything is fine.
"I feel fine, I've got the feeling back and if this was a playoff race or anything, I could probably go out and pitch tonight if I had to."
Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said he will likely refrain from using Jenkins out of the bullpen in the final two games, but he remained optimistic that Jenkins would be able to play catch Sunday.
Friday night's relief appearance will likely cap an up-and-down season for the heralded prospect. Jenkins began the year as a starter with Triple-A Gwinnett before transitioning to the bullpen in June as a way to accelerate his path to the Majors.
The plan worked, as Jenkins joined the Braves on June 16. He showed flashes of his potential in 14 appearances (eight starts), but will finish 2-4 with a 5.88 ERA.
"I've always admired the kid for the fact that he never quits pitching," Snitker said. "He competes as good as anybody. He's a young kid that's still got to work on his command and the location of his fastball. He's not unlike a lot of pitchers his age and where they're at.
"This has been a great experience for him right here."
Snitker also addressed the injury statuses of Arodys Vizcaino (right shoulder inflammation) and Williams Perez (right triceps impingement) Saturday, stating both pitchers could have potentially returned to the team in two weeks if the season didn't end Sunday.
He doesn't expect either pitcher to be sidelined when Spring Training begins.
"In our discussions, both of them will come to Spring Training just as usual," Snitker said. "I don't think [they'll arrive] with anything on top of them that will slow them down other than just the normal things with the pitchers, get in shape and go. No restrictions or anything like that."
Pat James is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.