At this point last Spring, Matt Wieters had just signed with the Nationals, Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth were busy recreating that Step Brothers movie poster, the Nationals were still searching for a closer, and Max Scherzer had just ditched the so-called three-finger fastballs to start throwing them with a normal grip after waiting for his fractured finger to heal.
This time around: Matt Wieters is back, and in better shape hoping to bounce back from a rough season, Jayson Werth is still a free agent, looking for a home, and Scherzer is 100% healthy, preparing for the 2018 campaign, and he is on the mound this afternoon in West Palm Beach, Florida for the first home game of the year for Washington’s Nationals.
You get to watch all the action on MASN (and MLB.tv) when the Nats and Braves battle in Grapefruit League baseball.
Scherzer, 33, is preparing to go for his third straight NL Cy Young award, and trying to lead his team beyond the NLDS for the first time.
He talked in December about being healthy this winter after dealing with injury issues from the start last season.
“I was battling some nagging injuries throughout the whole year, nothing that could truly knock me out, but enough to constantly have to be paying attention to stuff,” Scherzer explained.
“But once I got to the offseason, finally I felt 100% healthy. Still playing catch all the way through, and it feels great to be throwing a baseball 100% healthy and actually be able to go through my full offseason regimen and not be inhibited in any way, so I’m itching to get back out there in 2018.”
Scherzer gets his first opportunity to test himself against live opposition, with a mostly major league lineup behind him this afternoon.
HERE’S THE LINEUP FOR TODAY’S GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE GAME:
[ed. note - “Dominguez, as in Chris Dominguez, is the DH today, though the official lineup tweet from the Nationals, which was copy/pasted on Twitter, didn’t list a position for him. Also, did we mention today’s game is on MASN?”]