Red Sox designate Justin Masterson for assignment

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Justin Masterson allowed a solo home run to Jefry Marte in his one inning of relief in Sunday’s win against the Tigers. The Red Sox designated him for assignment after the game, as Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports.

The Red Sox signed Masterson to a one-year, $9.5 million deal in December despite his struggles in 2014 with the Indians and Cardinals. The right-hander had put together a few solid seasons, including in 2011 and 2013, but he never could get going.

Masterson compiled a 5.61 ERA with a 1.60 WHIP and a 49/27 K/BB ratio over 59 1/3 innings — split between nine starts and nine relief appearances — for the Red Sox this season.

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.