After he signed a 7-year/$210M free agent deal with the Washington Nationals this winter, Max Scherzer told the host of a Detroit-based radio show that in his next-to-last season in the Motor City, he and former teammate Rick Porcello, now in Boston, discussed changes that were likely to reshape the Tigers' rotation in the then-near future.
"'We saw where everybody was at in their contracts," Scherzer explained to WDFN's Matt Shepard.
"We sat there and realized, 'Hey this team is gonna get a major facelift over the next two years. There's just no way you can keep everybody on board. We looked at each other and, 'Which one of us is gonna go?'"
Porcello was traded to the Red Sox. Scherzer's now part of a Nationals' rotation that seems likely to undergo similar changes in the next two seasons.
Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell wrote Sunday about how the Nats' thoughts on post-Tommy John surgery starters may have influenced the decision to sign Scherzer and how it might factor into talks with Nats' starters Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg.
• "But the Nats hate and fear Surgery No. 2 because they — and others — think it has an awful chance of saving a career — perhaps 20 percent." - "Fear of second elbow surgery might lead to Zimmermann and Strasburg departures" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post
My col: Life expectancy of 2d elbows after TJ surgery. Or why Scherzer arrived, Zimmermann & Strasburg may depart DC. http://t.co/fJKJl9Bbj4— Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) March 29, 2015
Scherzer talked to Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo for Cafardo's "Sunday Baseball Notes" column about the other things he and Porcello used to discuss during games and how the talks affected each of their careers.
• "Scherzer, who signed with the Nationals in February, started his career with the Diamondbacks but really learned how to pitch with the Tigers. He believes long talks with Porcello benefited both of them." - "Max Scherzer talks a good game" - Nick Cafardo, The Boston Globe
Those were two must-read articles on Sunday.
There were plenty of Nationals-related articles out there. We put them all in one place for your convenience. Starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:
NATS INJURY BEAT: Mike Rizzo talks, Jayson Werth, Casey Janssen + more
• "To fill in for Span, Rendon and Werth atop the lineup, the Nationals could use a combination of Michael A. Taylor, Yunel Escobar, Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman." - "Opening day is ‘a stretch’ for Jayson Werth" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "Rizzo said his most pleasant surprises this spring are the non-roster invitees who signed Minor League contracts with the club." - "Rizzo confident in roster, sees opportunity for NRIs" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "'We’re satisfied with what we have,' Rizzo said. 'We like the team we have. We like the backup players we have. We like the depth we have.'" - "Despite injuries, Rizzo doesn’t see need for outside help" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "Williams is reluctant to make the final call but it looks unlikely that Werth will make start of the season with opening day eight days away." - "Nationals Pastime: Zimmerman appears fine, Williams talks lineup minus Werth, Span and Rendon" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
Mike Rizzo: "We're satisfied with what we have. We like the team we have. We like the back-up players we have. We like the depth we have."— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) March 29, 2015
• "Outfielder Michael Taylor and shortstop Yunel Escobar are capable of being leadoff hitters." - "Injuries may force Williams to shuffle lineup" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "'Things could be worse. As I’ve always said, one man’s injury is another man’s opportunity.'" - Mike Rizzo - "Mike Rizzo on the Nationals’ injuries, roster competitions" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "'It’d be nice to have your full compliment of guys on the first day of the season, but to get them soon thereafter will be fine,' says general manager Mike Rizzo." - "Washington Nationals are waiting to get healthy" - Andrew Mollenbeck, WTOP
Casey Janssen headed for MRI:
• "Williams said he will provide an update on the test results on Janssen's throwing shoulder after tomorrow's game against the Cardinals." - "Nationals Pastime: Casey Janssen to have a MRI on right shoulder" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "Janssen hadn’t pitched since last Monday, when he surrendered a 2-run homer to the Yankees, then noted to team officials he had trouble getting loose..." - "Nationals setup man Casey Janssen getting MRI on right shoulder" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "Washington Nationals reliever Casey Janssen is expected to undergo an MRI exam on his sore right shoulder by Monday..." - "Another injury for Nationals: Casey Janssen to receive MRI exam on right shoulder" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "Janssen last pitched Monday, March 23, against the Yankees and allowed two runs in one inning. It was during that game when Janssen felt uncomfortable." - "Janssen getting MRI on right shoulder" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
Dan Uggla's role?:
• "Dan Uggla has been in a big-league clubhouse during the final week of spring training for a decade now, but he hasn’t found himself in this position..." - "Nats have tough decision to make on Uggla" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
Uggla on being a bench player: "It's not where I feel like I'm at in my career. That's not what I'm looking to do." http://t.co/cvk214rQuc— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) March 29, 2015
Doug Fister's rough outing:
• "The Nationals entered this game having scored just six runs in the past 36 innings over four games. They broke out of that slump quickly..." - "Nationals Pastime: Taylor, Harper and Fister part of home run parade (Nats outslug Marlins)" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
Williams to the mound and Fister's day is done. 6 runs on 8 hits and a walk with two K's. He gave up 3 HR's. 87 pitches/53 K's. #Nats— Chris Johnson (@masnCJ) March 29, 2015
• "The Nationals and Marlins found themselves in a slugfest on Sunday afternoon at Space Coast Stadium." - "Nats' big bats make up for Fister's rocky start" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "Fister is scheduled to make one more Grapefruit League start before assuming his role in the five spot in the Nats rotation..." - "Nationals Pastime: Fister not sharp again, but Harper and company play longball" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "On a windy day at Space Coast Stadium, the Marlins managed three home runs off Fister. But the right-hander didn't use the elements as an excuse." - "Fister more in 'swing of things' despite rough outing" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
Get Weidemaier on it!!:
• "Before the start of the Grapefruit League season, Williams and his coaching staff worked hard with players to improve the defense..." - "Williams unhappy with Nats' shaky defense" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
Williams said Nats have "major room" for improvement on D. 25 Es in 26 Gs. "That sticks in my craw a little bit b/c we work so hard on it."— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) March 29, 2015
Robinson, Clint Robinson:
• "Another lefty swinger making big noise this spring is Clint Robinson." - "Clint Robinson is an intriguing choice as backup first baseman" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
• "Last year, Rafael Soriano's struggles and Storen's success left uncertainty at closer. Entering 2015, Storen has a veteran's mindset and a vote of confidence from the Nationals in that role." - "Drew Storen enters 2015 season as Nationals' unquestioned closer" - Tom Schad, Washington Times
Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama):
When our mind is calm, we’re better able to find peace of mind and live a joyful life.— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) March 30, 2015
NATIONAL(S) BEAT: Expert picks, #DonttradeBlevins
• "Ben and Sam preview the Nationals' season with Chris Cwik, and Sahadev talks to Washington Post Nationals beat writer James Wagner (at 26:56)." - "Baseball Prospectus | BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 645"
• "Washington manager Matt Williams told me the Nationals are trying to settle on two lefties for their bullpen." - "Nats give Mets good look at lefty reliever" - Joel Sherman, New York Post
• "This season, the teams graded the strongest by fantasy experts by division are the Washington Nationals (13), St. Louis Cardinals (12) and Los Angeles Dodgers (12)..." - "Why the Giants Are Pipsqueaks in Fantasy Baseball" - Michael Salfino, WSJ
• "'That’s why we come to camp, that is why we train, it’s the World Series, that’s our target,' Girardi stated." - "Girardi admits it: For Yankees, it's World Series or bust" -
NL EAST UPDATES: Marlins' OD starter; Mets want lefty; Hamels for Phils; Miller's Spring
• Braves: "Miller produced his most dominant outing of the spring as he limited the Pirates to one hit over six innings on Sunday afternoon at Champion Stadium." - "Miller hopes to take recent success into regular season" - Mark Bowman, braves.com
Shelby Miller allowed one hit over 6 IP today. Since recording just 2 outs in his GL debut, he's allowed 3 ER over 18 IP. #Braves— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) March 29, 2015
• Mets: "The Mets’ left-handed relief answer may very well come from outside the organization in the next week." - "Morning Briefing: Last week of practice!" - Adam Rubin, Mets Blog - ESPN New York
• Phillies: "Who will be your Opening Day starter, Ryno?" "'It's a secret,' Sandberg said coyly." - "No surprise: Hamels to start Phils' opener" - Ryan Lawrence, Philadelphia Daily News
• Marlins: "On Sunday, Redmond finally made it official. Alvarez will deliver the first pitch of the 2015 season..." - "Henderson Alvarez named Marlins’ Opening Day starter" - Clark Spencer, Miami Herald