Even after Max Scherzer tested his tweaked groin in a bullpen session on Monday and said that it wouldn’t make sense to push it and try to make his next scheduled start Wednesday afternoon, there was hope that the 36-year-old starter, who injured the groin six pitches into his outing this past Friday, could avoid an IL stint.
Washington Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez told reporters after Monday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates that there was a possibility that they could just bump Scherzer back.
“We’re going to wait till tomorrow and I’ll have another conversation with him and then we’ll go from there,” Martinez said. “If we have to IL him, we can backdate it a little bit.
“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. I know he probably can’t start on Wednesday, but if he feels better tomorrow, who knows what we can do then.”
Apparently they decided not to push it because early this afternoon the Nationals placed Scherzer on the 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 12, with “groin inflammation.”
“Yeah, for me after going through the process, I just want to be more cautious than not,” Martinez said in explaining the decision to put Scherzer on the Injured List today.
“This is an injury that right now it’s getting better, so we want it to completely get better,” the manager explained.
“This is something that we don’t want him to re-injure and the fact that we’re going to force him to try to pitch.
“So we’ll give him a few extra days and hopefully it won’t take long for him to come back and he’ll just miss a start.”
Scherzer, on Monday, expressed some concern about shutting things down completely as he waited for the groin to heal, telling reporters after his bullpen session was cut short that you don’t want to miss so much time that you have to start the process of building his arm back up all over again.
“If you don’t pitch,” he said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, “... you take too much time off from pitching, then your arm can get tired. And as you try to ramp back up, you can hurt your shoulder. You want to get back out there. There’s risk to not pitching. So there was an incentive for me to go ahead and make the start. But it’s just not worth it.”
Martinez said today he thought Scherzer would be able to stay sharp while not pushing it as the groin heals.
“I think in-between right now ... he threw 12 pitches yesterday in the bullpen, so he can still — I think he still can stretch his arm out without going 100%, just keep him arm fresh. He’ll definitely keep his arm [fresh], do some maintenance stuff to keep it right, so like I said, it’s just — he feels good now, but once he gets into the game, you know how competitive he is, he’s maxed out, so we want to make sure that when he does get in a game it’s something that he doesn’t have to think, worry about, and that he can just be Max Scherzer and go out there and pitch like the way he’s capable of pitching.”