Red Sox expected to activate Koji Uehara from the disabled list on Monday

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Per Tim Britton of the Providence Journal, Red Sox manager John Farrell said everything points to the club activating reliever Koji Uehara from the disabled list on Monday. Uehara suffered a strained left hamstring in mid-March and had a setback near the end of spring training.

Sean McAdam of CSN New England suggests the Red Sox are likely to demote one of their two lefty relievers — Tommy Layne or Robbie Ross, Jr. — to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Uehara on the 25-man roster, as both have options remaining.

Uehara should return to the closer’s role, which will push interim closer Edward Mujica back into set-up duties. Mujica has had one opportunity for a save so far and blew it in Friday’s 19-inning game against the Yankees, allowing a two-out, game-tying solo home run to Chase Headley in the ninth inning.

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.