Max Scherzer talked early last month about being excited to participate in the World Baseball Classic after the US team’s manager, Jim Leyland, called to personally ask the right-hander to join the team.
“When Jim Leyland calls, and I have so much respect for Jim Leyland, that when he asked me to play, you don’t say no,” Scherzer said.
According to a report from the Washington Nationals this afternoon, however, the 2016 Cy Young award winner will not participate in the WBC, “... due to the ongoing rehabilitation of a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger.”
Scherzer is, the Nationals note, expected to be “a full participant” in Spring Training when it begins next month.
He made no mention of the injury when he spoke to reporters about his preparations for the 2017 campaign at Winterfest, so when it was diagnosed is unclear.*
“I’m not planning on doing anything different until I really find out the details of where they need me to be, but for me it’s just where I’m at in my throwing program,” he said last month.
Scherzer finished his second season in Washington, and his ninth in the majors, at (20-7) with 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 1⁄3 IP for the NL East Champion Nationals, over which he was worth 5.6 fWAR.
Scherzer earned his second Cy Young award this winter, joining a short list which includes Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay as the only pitchers to win the Cy Young in the American and National Leagues.
[ed. note - “Update: Max Scherzer sent out a note on Twitter explaining how the injury occurred and was diagnosed. Read below for the full details.”]: