Mark Teixeira hits, fields and jogs in first workout

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Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira is making slow but steady progress in his recovery from a calf strain.

According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, the first baseman took batting practice, fielded grounders and did some light running on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium for the first time since suffering the injury on September 8. He reported no abnormal pain or discomfort during or after the workout and will aim to intensify those three activities later this week.

“Overall, it’s getting better a little bit each day,” Teixeira told reporters.

The 32-year-old is batting .255/.336/.478 with 23 home runs, 27 doubles and 81 RBI in 120 games played this season. The Yankees are optimistic that he’ll be ready before the end of the regular season.

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.