Phillies may bring Grady Sizemore back for the 2015 season

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The Phillies have a reputation around baseball for being the team that collects old and injury-prone players. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Phillies may be interested in bringing outfielder Grady Sizemore back for the 2015 season, which certainly won’t help dispel that reputation.

GM Ruben Amaro was asked if the oft-injured veteran could be part of a rebuilding effort:

“Yeah, very possible,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said recently. “He’s played well enough to certainly be in consideration for 2015 and beyond. But again that’s one of those questions we’ll continue to assess. What we do with our outfield will be one of those questions, and he could very well be a part of it.”

Sizemore started the season with the Red Sox but struggled after getting off to a hot start in April. When the team released him on June 18, he had a .216/.288/.324 slash line with two home runs, 15 RBI, and five stolen bases. The Phillies picked him up through free agency on June 24. Since then, Sizemore has hit well, slashing .305/.347/.432.

However, the Phillies don’t figure to be contenders for at least two seasons and the goal is to get younger and healthier. Sizemore, obviously, doesn’t fit either criteria. The Phillies already have a crowded outfield as is with Marlon Byrd in right field, Ben Revere in center, and the struggling Domonic Brown in left. It’s tough to see how Sizemore fits in with the team through the rest of this season, let alone in 2015.

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.