When we walked into the clubhouse just now, Joe Nelson was one of the handful of players still there.
In brutally honest terms, he talked about waiting to find out whether he would make the team.
“It’s not the first time I’ve been in a spot like this,” the 35-year-old righthander said. “It’s not ideal but most of my career hasn’t really been ideal. If they made it too easy than no one would appreciate it. It’s out of my hands. I had a good spring.”
Nelson has been in pro ball since 1996 in assorted organization and knows how the process works. It’s not necessarily about who’s pitching well at the time, it’s about how somebody fits on the roster, whether they have outs in their contract and how the decision impacts other players.
Nelson is pitching well right now but has only 149 games of big-league experience. Scott Schoeneweis has been a little up and down but has 562 games under his belt and six more in the playoffs. If the Sox take Nelson now, Schoeneweis could walk on April 15. Nelson’s out isn’t until June.
“Sometimes I wish I were a dumb player instead of somebody who understood things,” Nelson said. “Then you can just be mad at somebody. But I don’t have any reason to be. I understand it’s for the long haul.”