Washington Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker told reporters on Tuesday night that they were targeting Friday as the date for Max Scherzer to return to the rotation after he was placed on the 10-Day DL this past Saturday with what was described as left neck inflammation. Baker acknowledged then that nothing was set quite yet.
“It’s too early,” Baker said, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr. “What’s today, Tuesday? It’s too early to tell. I’m planning on it until we hear otherwise.”
Baker and the Nationals heard otherwise today, apparently, with multiple reports out of Houston’s Minute Maid Park, where the Nats are playing a three-game set with the Astros, saying that Scherzer and pitching coach Mike Maddux confirmed that the right-hander will not start against the New York Mets on Friday.
Max Scherzer just said he's a couple days behind where he wants to be, and won't make a start Friday. Tight band in his neck.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) August 23, 2017
Max Scherzer won't make his next start Friday. Maddux said they need him to throw a bullpen first once the discomfort in his neck goes away— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) August 23, 2017
Maddux confirms Scherzer will not start Friday. Bullpen session next on schedule any day now depending on how Max feels— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) August 23, 2017
Scherzer was scratched from this past Friday’s scheduled outing against the San Diego Padres with a recurrence of the neck issue that ended a start in Miami last month one inning in.
“It’s the same situation,” Baker told reporters that night.
“It’s his neck, but it’s the other the side,” Baker explained. “And so we’re just taking the cautious route, and hopefully we’ll find out kind of what’s causing this, cause it moved from one to the other side, and so that’s the word right now and hopefully he’ll be out there to make his next start.”
Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies this morning that he wasn’t particularly concerned about when Scherzer makes his next start as long as he’s healthy.
“He’s going to pitch in the near future,” Rizzo said. “I’m not worried about if it’s Friday, Saturday, Sunday or whatever, we’ve got that doubleheader on Sunday also, so we’re going to need an extra pitcher. But, as long as Max is capable of pitching, that’s the thing that’s important to me.
“Where he slots in and sometime this weekend is less important to me, so the actual date I’m not that concerned with, I’m only concerned with whether he’s healthy and ready to go and the fact that he wants to pitch and he’s pounding the table to pitch is a good sign for me.”