Max Scherzer expressed disappointment earlier this week when he announced that he would have to miss out on the 2017 World Baseball Classic due to a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger.
He will, however, he said, be ready for Spring Training.
“I am disappointed that I will not get to reunite with Jim Leyland and Jeff Jones,” Scherzer wrote on Twitter, referring to his former manager and pitching coach in Detroit, respectively, who will guide the U.S. team, “but I’m excited to see how Team USA performs this Spring.”
Though Scherzer won’t participate, there will apparently be one Washington Nationals’ pitcher suiting up for Team USA this March for the WBC.
According to MLB Network analyst Jon Morosi, Nats’ right-hander Tanner Roark has committed to pitching for the U.S. in the 2017 edition of the international baseball tournament.
Sources: Tanner Roark has committed to pitch for USA in @WBCBaseball. He was invited prior to Scherzer injury decision. @MLBNetwork @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 11, 2017
Roark, 30, topped 200 innings pitched for the first time in his career in 2016, finishing the season with 210 IP overall in 34 games (33 starts).
Roark posted a career-high 16 wins (16-10), with a 2.83 ERA, a 3.79 FIP, 73 walks (3.13 BB/9) and 172 Ks (7.37 K/9), holding opposing hitters to a .227/.309/.330 line on the year.
He told reporters this winter that he was happy with the results, though he did see room for improvement in his own game and for the Nationals as a team.
“I was happy with it, myself, personally,” Roark said.
“I would have liked to have cut down on the walks, big time, but pretty good season overall. It was a good team effort, but it’s not what we ultimately wanted.
“The ultimate goal every year is to win the World Series, not just make it there, to win. So that’s our goal this year.”
But first, he’ll try to help Team USA win the WBC.