Reports last month that Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero had agreed to a contract with the Dodgers turned out to be premature, but the 26-year-old has apparently narrowed his list of potential landing spots.
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reports that Guerrero is currently deciding between four teams, including the Twins, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Braves. The Reds have also checked in, though it’s not clear if they are a serious possibility. There’s a bit of conflicting information here, as Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Red Sox are not one of the finalists, but that has to bode well for the deep-pocketed Dodgers.
Guerrero, long one of Cuba’s best middle infielders, defected earlier this year and is currently working out in the Dominican Republic. He will need to be unblocked by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control before signing with an MLB team. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported last month that he is expected to command a five- to seven-year deal.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.