Yankees, Orioles interested in Freddy Garcia

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Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees and the Orioles are sniffin’ around Freddy Garcia.

Or, I should say, sniffin’ around again. Heyman reported last month that multiple teams including the Yankees had requested his medical records.  At the time I opined that Garcia is not a guy who is going to make a difference for a contending team. He threw 157 decent innings last year but he doesn’t strike anyone out anymore. He’s a right-handed flyball pitcher who will get eaten alive in Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards. And in Fenway Park it should be noted too, as the Red Sox have some monster lefties.

Not that there’s anyone much better left for teams seeking pitching help. It’s just that Garcia is no one to get too excited about.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.