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Nationals’ Max Scherzer interested in pitching for U.S. in 2017 WBC

Washington Nationals’ starter Max Scherzer told MLB.com’s Jon Morosi he would be excited to represent Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

In reporting that Washington Nationals’ slugger Bryce Harper’s name was not included on a preliminary list of 50 players submitted for consideration for USA’s roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, New York Post writer Joel Sherman listed 17 players who were included on the list.

Max Scherzer was one of five pitchers who were mentioned.

Scherzer confirmed his interest in pitching for the U.S. in a conversation with MLB.com writer Jon Morosi last night, after he was named a finalist for the NL Cy Young award.

"I've been asked to participate, and I would love to do it," Scherzer told Morosi.

He added that he would love to work with his former manager with the Detroit Tigers, Jim Leyland, who will be leading the United States entry in the WBC:

"With Jim Leyland managing, he's one of my favorite managers of all time, and I'd be thrilled to be part of the team," Scherzer said. "The thing is, now that he's been a couple years removed from managing, the chance to get back in the dugout with this caliber of players, he's going to get attached to everybody.

"He loves the game more than anybody. That's why I want to play for Team USA. I know everything he's about. That's why he's always been one of my favorite managers. It's the relationships he develops with you, and it'd be awesome to watch him interact with everybody there."

Scherzer finished the second season of his 7-year/$210M deal with Washington (20-7), posting a 2.96 ERA, a 3.24 FIP, 56 walks (2.21 BB/9) and 284 Ks (11.19 K/9) in 34 starts and 228 13 innings pitched.

He told Morosi he wasn’t worried about the additional innings that a run in the WBC would add to his workload for 2017:

"After the 220-plus innings I threw in the regular season, I still had my velocity late in the year. Even if we had marched on and played in the NLCS or World Series, I would have been able to handle the workload and pitch at a high level. That's why I think I can take on the extra start [in the WBC]."