Jered Weaver not sure when he’ll return to Angels’ rotation

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The Angels topped the Tigers 3-2 last night and have won 13 out of their last 16 games to improve to 75-63 on the year. While they currently sit just two games back in the Wild Card race, they will be without their ace for a little while longer.

Jered Weaver is currently shut down due to right biceps tendinitis. While it was initially thought that that the injury was due to him being hit by a line drive last Sunday, Weaver told Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times yesterday that he has felt discomfort in the shoulder dating back to a start against the Athletics on August 6.

“It’s been lingering ever since,” Weaver said. “I’ve pitched through this before. I’d do the treatment. But when it feels like it was getting better, I would have to throw 100 to 120 pitches and it sets me back again.”

Weaver has a 6.14 ERA in five starts since August 6 and has allowed seven home runs in just 29 1/3 innings, so it appears that the shoulder had an impact on his performance. An MRI this week didn’t show anything more than “normal wear and tear,” so the hope is that some rest will do the trick. He’s scheduled to throw from on the side from 75 to 90 feet today after which the next step will be decided, but he said he’s determined to return this year, even if he has to do it at less than 100 percent.

Weaver, 29, is 16-4 with a 2.86 ERA and 121/38 K/BB ratio over 25 starts this season. He ranks first in the American League with a 1.03 WHIP.

Max Scherzer will not be ready for Opening Day

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Ten days ago Nationals ace Max Scherzer said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m gonna do it,” Scherzer said.

[Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice] — No, he’s not:

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team’s opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation.

He’s still projected to make it to the opening rotation, taking the hill, most likely, on Thursday April 6 against the Marlins. At least if the schedule doesn’t slip any more.

Scherzer, as you probably know, has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, which has messed with his preparation and has caused him to alter his grip a bit. As of now Stephen Strasburg will get the Opening Day nod.

Theo Epstein named The World’s Greatest Leader

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Fortune Magazine has put out a list of The World’s Greatest Leaders. Not the greatest business leaders, not the greatest leaders in a given industry, but the Greatest Leaders, full stop. The greatest according to Fortune: The Cubs’ Theo Epstein.

For some context, Pope Francis was third. Angela Merkel was 10th. Lebron James was the next greatest sports leader, ranked 11th. Take Fortune’s methodology with a grain of salt, however, given that it has John McCain above Merkel — what, exactly, does he lead now? — and Samantha Bee in the top 20.

So what makes Theo the world’s best leader according to Fortune?

The Cubs owe their success to a five-year rebuilding program that featured a concatenation of different leadership styles. The team thrived under the affable patience of owner Tom Ricketts, and, later, under the innovative eccentricity of manager Joe Maddon. But most important of all was the evolution of the club’s president for baseball operations, Theo Epstein, the wunderkind executive who realized he would need to grow as a leader in order to replicate in Chicago the success he’d had with the Boston Red Sox.

I don’t want to take anything away from what Theo has done — he’s a Hall of Fame executive already in my view — but I feel like maybe one needs to adjust for the fact that this is a baseball team we’re talking about. They’re the whole world to us and their brands are nationally and even world famous, but as an organization, sports teams are rather small. There are guys who run reasonably-sized HVAC companies with more employees than a baseball team and they don’t get the benefit of an antitrust exemption and a rule which allows them to get their pick of the best new employees if they had a bad year the year before.

Really, not trying to throw shade here, just thinking that being the spiritual father for 1.2 billion Catholics or running a foundation that serves 55 million needy children — like the woman who comes in at number 14 — is a bit of a tougher trick.

But this will make a great framed magazine article on Theo’s wall in Wrigley Field.