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Cardinals to call up prospect Tyler O’Neill

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MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reports that the Cardinals plan to promote outfield prospect Tyler O’Neill before tomorrow’s game.

O’Neill, 22, who was acquired last summer from the Mariners, was a third round pick in the 2013 draft. He has posted an .856 OPS, has hit 37 home runs, knocked in 113 runs, and has stolen 14 bases in 142 games at Triple-A since the beginning of last season.

Where he’ll play is unclear given that the Cards’ outfield appears pretty set with Tommy Pham, Marcel Ozuna and Dexter Fowler, but that’s Mike Matheny’s problem, not ours. My guess is that the Cards wouldn’t call him up without a plan. They’re crazy like that.

UPDATE: Yep, seems there was a plan: to possible fill in for Tommy Pham, who Trezza reports will undergo tests on his right groin today. Pham finished last night’s game, but he was apparently gimpy. At the moment there’s no indication that it’s serious, but it does explain why O’Neill would be called up.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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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.