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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.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.