Max Scherzer is “good to go” and could start Friday

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Max Scherzer missed his scheduled Tuesday start because of a sprained thumb, but the Nationals insisted it was a minor injury and sure enough the former Cy Young winner may be been cleared to start Friday against the Mets.

Scherzer threw a problem-free bullpen session Tuesday while call-up A.J. Cole was taking his turn in the rotation, telling Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post that he’s “good to go.”

Gio Gonzalez was scheduled to start Friday, but the Nationals may decide to push Gonzalez and Doug Fister back one day apiece in order to get the $210 million free agent pickup on the mound again.

Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife gives birth

Zack Wheeler miss starts
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Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.

Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”

Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.

The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.