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Max Scherzer won’t pitch in WBC due to stress fracture in right finger

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer will not pitch in the upcoming World Baseball Classic due to a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, MASN’s Mark Zuckerman reports. Scherzer is still expected to be ready for spring training. He and the Nationals likely don’t want to add any unnecessary risk by having him pitch in games that don’t matter for the team.

Scherzer, 32, is the defending National League Cy Young Award winner after going 20-7 with a 2.96 ERA and a 284/56 K/BB ratio in 228 1/3 innings this past season. His wins and innings totals led the National League while his strikeout total and 0.968 WHIP were major league bests.

Scherzer has five years and $135 million remaining on his seven-year contract signed with the Nationals in January two years ago.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.