Angels sign first-round pick Kaleb Cowart for $2.3 million

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There are going to be an absurd number of draft pick signings to announce today because midnight is the deadline for deals to be reached before teams cease controlling a player’s rights.
This morning there were 17 unsigned first-round picks, but that number if now 16 with the Angels convincing Georgia high school infielder and No. 18 pick Kaleb Cowart to pass up a scholarship to Florida State for a $2.3 million bonus.
Jim Callis of Baseball America lists Diamondbacks first rounder Barret Loux and Dodgers first rounder Zach Lee as the least likely first-round picks to sign before midnight. Loux because he failed a physical exam in July and Lee because it’s been assumed all along that he plans to play college football at LSU.
For the most part, though, expect the vast majority of high-round picks–including Bryce Harper–to come to terms at some point tonight.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.