Major League Baseball announced on Thursday evening that Mets reliever Jacob Rhame has been suspended two games for throwing at Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins in the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s game. We discussed the issue at length here, so we won’t rehash the whole situation again.
Rhame can appeal his punishment. If he doesn’t, his suspension would begin on Friday night, when the Mets open up a three-game home series with the Brewers.
After Tuesday’s game, Rhame said of Hoskins’ reaction to the up-and-in pitch, “When you accidentally sail one, it’s probably pretty scary. I’d probably get [angry], too.” He did not admit to intentionally throwing at Hoskins, of course. MLB must have felt there was enough evidence and context to conclude that Rhame didn’t just miss his spot.
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.