Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports that Nationals starter Max Scherzer expects to throw 100 pitches in his start against the Cubs in Game 3 of the NLDS. Janes adds that Scherzer also plans to be available out of the bullpen in the event there is a Game 5.
Scherzer has been dealing with a hamstring injury suffered during his last start of the regular season. He wasn’t healthy enough to start Games 1 or 2, but the Nationals are certainly thankful he’s able to participate at all in the NLDS.
The Cubs will counter with Jose Quintana for Sunday’s Game 3, which starts at 4 PM ET. The series is tied at one game apiece.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.