Cuban infielder Hector Olivera signed a $62.5 million deal with the Dodgers last week, but don’t expect to see him in the majors anytime soon. In fact, he’s not even in America yet.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Olivera remains in the Dominican Republic “waiting for a visa.” Once that happens he’ll travel to Los Angeles for a physical exam, which is a bigger issue than usual due to concerns about the health of his elbow and worries that he may need Tommy John surgery.
If he’s deemed healthy enough to play Olivera will begin his American career in the minors, but it’s not clear which level yet. Howie Kendrick and Juan Uribe are manning third base and second base for the Dodgers, so there’s no sense that Olivera will be on the fast track to Los Angeles.
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.