Davey Martinez updated reporters on Washington Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer’s “recovery” from a tweaked right hamstring when he spoke in advance of the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
“Max went out to throw right now,” Martinez said at a little after 2:00 PM Friday afternoon.
“I’ll touch base with him after and see how he feels. He’s going to be day-to-day.”
If he was going out to throw, a reporter asked, did that mean he didn’t have any pain in his hamstring, which ended his outing on Wednesday night after just one inning of work?
“Max is Max,” Martinez explained. “He’s out there today. He said he feels okay. He wants to see what level he’s at. So, I’ll talk to him more after he throws and see where he’s at.”
His activities Martinez explained, were going to be fairly limited for now.
“I think he’s just going to play catch,” Martinez said. “Just throw on flat ground.”
Martinez said before Saturday night’s matchup with the O’s, that Scherzer was progressing as they’d hoped, and the next step would be a bullpen session where he could test the leg to make sure he could push off it, which he struggled to do in Wednesday’s outing.
“He’s throwing a bullpen today,” the manager confirmed. “He threw yesterday and said he felt fine, so today he’s going to throw a bullpen and we’ll see how he feels after that.”
If all goes as planned, with no hiccups or setbacks, will Scherzer be back on the mound on Tuesday in Citi Field where the Nationals play their first real road series of the season?
“That’s right,” Martinez confirmed. “Hopefully it goes well. He said he felt fine yesterday so we’ll see how this bullpen turns out.”
Scherzer knows what he needs to do, his skipper explained, so they were approaching his bullpen as the usual between-starts work as opposed to it being solely a test of the hammy.
“His bullpens are — he understands his bullpens. He’s treating it as if he’s getting ready for his next start, so typically that’s anywhere from 30-40 pitches, so we’ll see how he feels.
“My biggest concerns is him being able to push off his leg, and if he can do that I think he’s going to be alright.”
Scherzer explained on Wednesday night, after the abbreviated outing, that he’d tweaked the hamstring in his final preparation for the start, when he was doing sprints on the day before the outing, and said he’d initially felt something in advance of his previous start, again, when doing sprints the day before, so, maybe tell him to back off the sprinting?
“We can tell Max a lot of things,” Martinez laughed. “As you all know he’s very competitive, it’s part of his routine. Hopefully, he tones it down a little bit.
“We have to remind him that he’s not a base-stealer and just go out there and just get ready to pitch. We need him every five days. Hopefully he learned he can tone it down a little bit.”
On Sunday afternoon, GM Mike Rizzo provided another update in a Zoom call with reporters in the nation’s capital.
“He felt great today when I saw him and he’s planning on pitching Tuesday,” Rizzo said.
“We’re not making any firm announcement, but I would imagine he’s going to take the mound on Tuesday.”