In a bit of a surprise move, the Tigers will recall right-hander Max Scherzer from Triple-A Toledo to start against the Athletics on Sunday, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com.
The Tigers were clearly headed in a different direction after Sunday’s projected starter Armando Galarraga pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief during Friday’s 5-4 loss. Some thought it was done so that Justin Verlander could simply pitch on regular rest, but the Tigers have apparently been encouraged enough by Scherzer’s progress in the minor leagues.
Scherzer was demoted to Triple-A Toledo on May 16 after going 1-4 with a 7.29 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over his first eight starts. After making some mechanical tweaks, Scherzer rediscovered his velocity and allowed just one run over two starts with the Mud Hens (0.50 ERA), posting a 17/2 K/BB ratio in 15 innings.
Obviously there were different motivations for sending each pitcher to the minors, but we’ll soon see if Scherzer can be this year’s version of Ricky Nolasco.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)