Mark Appel signed quickly with Houston for nearly $1.5 million less than the recommended slot bonus for the No. 1 overall pick and now the Astros are making plans for his professional debut.
Appel hasn’t done any throwing since being drafted, but Brian Smith of the Houston Chronicle reports that he’s set to begin a throwing program after meeting with the Astros’ brass at their spring training complex in Florida.
Next on the agenda will be some simulated game action, followed by joining a rookie-ball team, with Appel’s minor-league debut likely taking place in early July.
Nationals ace Max Scherzer struck out his 300th batter of the season on Tuesday night against the Marlins. Austin Dean was the victim, swinging and missing at a 3-2 curve for the second out in the seventh inning.
Scherzer’s 2018 is the seventh 300-strikeout season since 2000. The others: Chris Sale (308; 2017 Red Sox), Clayton Kershaw (301; 2015 Dodgers), Randy Johnson (334; 2002 Diamondbacks), Curt Schilling (316; 2002 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (372; 2001 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (347; 2000 Diamondbacks). It’s the 67th 300-strikeout season dating back to 1883.
At the conclusion of the seventh, Scherzer had held the Marlins to a run on four hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. He entered the start 17-7 with a 2.57 ERA across 213 2/3 innings. Jacob deGrom will almost certainly win the NL Cy Young Award, but Scherzer’s 2018 has been outstanding.