Max Scherzer will not make his scheduled Tuesday start due to a thumb injury, the Nationals announced.
Scherzer jammed his right thumb during at-bat Thursday against the Cardinals and manager Matt Williams officially ruled him out today. However, according to Williams the hope is that Scherzer will only have to be pushed back in the rotation rather than missing an entire turn, setting him up to potentially start later this week.
Tanner Roark, who threw 199 innings with a 2.85 ERA last season but was bumped from the rotation by Scherzer’s arrival as a free agent, seems like the obvious option to fill in for Scherzer against the Braves.
Scherzer is in the first season of a seven-year, $210 million contract and has pitched very well through four starts with a 1.26 ERA and 29/4 K/BB ratio in 29 innings.
Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.
Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.
Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.