Nick Swisher, who spent the first month on the season on the disabled list following two knee surgeries, is slated to come off the shelf and join the Indians’ active roster Tuesday.
It’s hard to know what to expect from Swisher, a 34-year-old coming off a pair of significant injuries who hit just .208 with a .608 OPS in 97 games last season. Cleveland would be thrilled to get even his modest 2013 production, which included hitting .246 with 22 homers and a .763 OPS in 145 games.
He’s being paid $15 million this season and is owed another $15 million in 2016. He figures to see time in right field and at designated hitter for a lineup that ranks ninth in OPS and tenth in runs scored among AL teams.
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.