Justin Verlander has been ruled out as a Game 5 bullpen option after throwing 120 pitches Monday, but Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Max Scherzer is available in relief of Doug Fister tonight.
Scherzer shut out the Yankees for six innings in Game 2, throwing 104 pitches Sunday, so he’d likely be an option for an inning or two.
He hasn’t gotten any relief work since 2008, when he was a 23-year-old rookie with the Diamondbacks, but Scherzer certainly has the raw stuff to potentially dominate in short outings and his success mowing down the Yankees’ lineup in Game 2 may convince manager Jim Leyland to give him another shot if Fister gets into some early trouble.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.