Max Scherzer told reporters in Atlanta this afternoon that he won’t be starting against the Braves on Sunday night as the Washington Nationals and the pitcher hoped he might be able to.
Scherzer, 34, was placed on the 10-Day IL with a mid-back strain on July 13th (retroactive to the 10th), but when he spoke today he gave a more detailed description of the issue that he has been dealing with since his after a start in Detroit back on June 30th.
He made one more start after that and before the All-Star Break and his back was again an issue, so he sat out of the All-Star Game in the hope he would be ready to go for the start of the second-half.
Talking today in Georgia’s SunTrust Park, Scherzer said the issue he’s been dealing with is, “an inflamed bursa sac in his back.”
As MASN’s Mark Zuckerman reported on Twitter after the Nationals’ ace spoke to reporters, Scherzer, “[g]ot a cortisone shot 4 days ago. He believes he’ll be able to throw off a mound by day 5-6. So he won’t pitch this weekend, but he’s optimistic it will be soon after that.”
Scherzer said he took some comfort from the fact that former teammate Shawn Kelley dealt with the same issue and was better 5-6 days after the shot.
When GM Mike Rizzo talked with MLB Network Radio hosts Mike Ferrin, Jim Duquette, and Jim Bowden this afternoon, he reiterated what manager Davey Martinez said on Thursday, which is that as much as they’d like to have Scherzer back in Atlanta, they aren’t going to bring him off the IL until he is 100% healthy.
“We’re not going to rush him back just because it’s the Braves,” Rizzo explained. “It’s still — we’re still in July and we need Scherzer for the long haul, so we’re going to take it cautiously. Right now we’re [TBD]. We’re going to see how he comes and throws today. We don’t think it’s a long-term, serious thing, but when he’s able to throw his bullpen he’ll be able to start a couple days after that, but until then we’re going to keep it as TBD. But he’s a guy you have to keep off the mound, because he’s always pushing to get on the mound, and there has to be an adult in the room if you will to kind of pull the reins back on this guy because he wants to pinch run, pinch hit, and pitch every night, so that’s just his personality.”
Scherzer threw off flat ground again today, according to reports from Atlanta, but until he takes the next step and throws off a bullpen mound, it’s wait-and-see for the Nats’ ace, who was on quite a roll before he ended up on the Injured List, going unbeaten in his previous nine starts, with a 0.84 ERA, nine walks, 94 Ks, and a .172/.213/.263 line against in 64 IP in that stretch.