Max Scherzer departs start with right shoulder fatigue

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Troubling news here for the second-place Tigers.

Max Scherzer, who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past few months, was removed from his start Tuesday night against the A’s because of right shoulder fatigue. An MRI has already been scheduled, indicating that the Tigers medical staff believes the matter might be serious.

Scherzer yielded one earned run in two innings before making his early exit, fanning four. Those results included, he has a 3.78 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 224/57 K/BB ratio through 178 2/3 innings pitched this season.

Detroit entered play Tuesday trailing the White Sox by three games in the American League Central.

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UPDATE, 9:59 PM: According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the MRI ruled out structural damage. Scherzer won’t throw for several days but he did not suffer a major injury.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.