Justin Verlander has been ruled out as a Game 5 bullpen option after throwing 120 pitches Monday, but Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Max Scherzer is available in relief of Doug Fister tonight.
Scherzer shut out the Yankees for six innings in Game 2, throwing 104 pitches Sunday, so he’d likely be an option for an inning or two.
He hasn’t gotten any relief work since 2008, when he was a 23-year-old rookie with the Diamondbacks, but Scherzer certainly has the raw stuff to potentially dominate in short outings and his success mowing down the Yankees’ lineup in Game 2 may convince manager Jim Leyland to give him another shot if Fister gets into some early trouble.
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.
Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.
There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.
Yadier Molina suffered a mild ligament tear in his left thumb on September 20, but the Cardinals announced Monday that they remain “optimistic” he’ll be on the roster for the upcoming NLDS.
Molina visited a hand specialist Monday and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that he’ll have a custom splint built in hopes that he’ll be able to hit and catch. He’s still not 100 percent, but even a limited Molina could be better than the alternative. That would be Tony Cruz in this case.
The Cardinals will meet the winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card game between the Cubs and the Pirates. Game 1 of the NLDS will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in St. Louis.