PHOENIX -- Balance is a huge factor in success in sports -- both physical and mental balance. Jimmy Nelson, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher has a lot on his plate this spring, as he works to get back on the field, but that's nothing compared to what he's dealing with personally.
"It's tough, but in this game, it teaches you to control what you can control, and this game teaches you a lot of life lessons," said Nelson.
Baseball is a perfect metaphor for life, and Nelson's understanding it more each day.
"Things that you can take outside of this locker room and controlling what you can control and not worrying about stuff outside of the process, you learn to kind of block that out. It's very hard to do, but that`s just a part of the maturation process in this game. I feel like I`ve gotten in a really good place with that," said Nelson.
As Nelson works toward a return to the game, he's dealing with much more serious concerns at home.
"Last month, month-and-a-half has been pretty rough," said Nelson.
In December 2018, Nelson and his wife, Melissa, announced on Twitter they were expecting twins. In January, they found out the twins had "twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome," a condition that causes decreased blood and nutrient flow to one twin, so Melissa underwent a procedure to try to save the babies.
"She was in the hospital for a few days, got through that, everything was good with the babies and stuff," said Nelson.
A couple weeks later, during spring training, different concerns had Melissa back in the hospital.
"She had to have a procedure to re-stitch the cervix shut so she wouldn't go into pre-term labor. They said that it was looking like she was going to go into labor if she didn't have it done, so it was pretty scary because she was only at 21 weeks," said Nelson.
All was successful, and the babies remain healthy, but Melissa has to be careful.
"She's essentially on bed rest back home, but her mom's there helping her out, so that's a relief to me, and being able to go home for a couple of days kind of helped clear my head a little bit. I'm kind of on the other side of the coin, whereas, for my whole rehab process, she felt helpless. Now, it's kind of like, switching roles a little bit, so she was a strong as can be throughout that whole process that I've been through and continue to go through, so I'm just trying to be there for her and I," said Nelson.
And Nelson's back with the club, where there's plenty of support.
"As a team, that's pretty much where we want to make sure that every single one individual here, if they need anything from us, as a group, we're going to be there for them," said Yasmani Grandal, catcher.
"That's what a team's for. That's the sign of a good team. That's the sign of a team that's connected, as Craig always likes to say is, 'Stay connected.' Little things like that go a long way, and when you have the backing of the whole team behind you, there's an outlet here that you can come to and kind of get away from it and it definitely helps," said Travis Shaw, third baseman.
It's clearly making a difference for Nelson.
"When it's out of your hands like that, you just have to trust that they're in the right hands care-wise and that things are going to play out and that God's got a plan for you," said Nelson.