Scherzer lights-out in first Triple-A start

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scherzer headshot.jpgMax Scherzer was optioned to Triple-A Toledo last weekend after opening the season with a 1-4 record, a 7.29 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP through his first eight starts.  The demotion was understandable, given the Tigers’ presence near the top of the AL Central standings, but it looks like he won’t be in the minors for long.

According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, Scherzer, 25, fired eight shutout innings Thursday in his first start for the Toledo MudHens, fanning 10 batters and allowing just one hit.  He threw 67 of his 103 pitches for strikes and topped out at 97 MPH with his fastball.

The Tigers obviously won’t rush Scherzer back because of the way he pitched over the regular season’s first six weeks.  But one or two more starts like tonight’s and he’ll be right back in Detroit.

Former major league pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez dies in traffic accident

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Former Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez died in a traffic accident in Havana on Thursday, per reports from the El Nuevo Herald and CiberCuba. No other deaths or injuries have been reported in connection to the accident. Gonzalez was 34 years old.

The Cuban righty defected from his home country in 2013 and signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies. A bout of right shoulder tendinitis compromised his bid for a major league role, but he finally broke through to the big leagues at the tail end of the 2014 season and turned in a 6.75 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in just six outings. Another case of shoulder inflammation derailed any progress he might have made in 2015, however, and he recorded just five innings in Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the team officially released him prior to the 2016 season.

The Phillies released a statement following news of Gonzalez’s death: