Twins send pitching prospect Alex Meyer to Triple-A

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Alex Meyer’s bid for an Opening Day spot on Minnesota’s pitching staff was unsuccessful, as the Twins have sent the 25-year-old right-hander to Triple-A.

Meyer is a former first-round draft pick and consensus top-100 prospect three years in a row, but he’s also already 25 years old and spent all of last season at Triple-A. For some context: He’s just five months younger than Madison Bumgarner, who’s thrown more than 1,000 innings for the Giants and was the World Series MVP.

By sending Meyer to Triple-A for a second go-around following spring training control problems the Twins are all but committed to either Mike Pelfrey or Tommy Milone as their fifth starter, with the loser of the rotation competition likely going to the bullpen as a long reliever.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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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.