Keith Law releases his top 100 prospects list

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Following up on yesterday’s organizational rankings Keith Law today releases what I feel to be the most thorough and useful top prospects lists we get each year: his top 100 prospects list and his top-10-in-each-organization list.  Yes, it’s for those with Insider subscriptions only.

Law gets a salary by virtue of people buying the Insider cow, so I won’t give away the milk for free. But do know that Law agrees with the MLB.com people in ranking Mike Trout first. He has Bryce Harper second and Domonic Brown third.

There are more Yankees on his list — and higher — than I presumed there would be.  The Rays have eight in the top 100. The Jays and Royals have six each. The Astros have only one player in the top 100.  The Brewers: zero. Eeek. Every other team has at least two.

If you care at all about prospects — and how can you not? — cancel your appointments for the rest of the day and read Law’s thoughtful writeups of each of the top 100.  Great stuff.

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.