Nationals starter Max Scherzer is headed to the 10-day injured list, this time with a mid-back strain. Scherzer initially announced his intention to pitch through the pain when he started to feel symptoms several weeks ago, but even after receiving plenty of time off during the All-Star Break, it appears he hasn’t made a full recovery yet.
Prior to his injured list assignment, the seven-time All-Star closed out the first half of the season with a 9-5 record in 19 starts and a 2.30 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, NL-best 12.9 SO/9, and 5.5 fWAR through 129 1/3 innings. He elected to skip the All-Star Game due to his condition and told reporters he felt capable of handling his next scheduled start on Sunday versus the Phillies, though that’s clearly no longer the case.
Although an estimated return date has not been given, the move is retroactive to July 10 with a possible activation date of July 20. Scherzer received promising news after undergoing an MRI on Friday, the results of which came back negative for any serious injury. He threw the ball at 75 feet and is likely to continue working his way back to the mound over the next several weeks.
In a corresponding move, the club recalled catcher Spencer Kieboom from Double-A Harrisburg to take Scherzer’s spot on the roster. Kieboom, 28, has not appeared in a major league game since 2018, and hasn’t particularly excelled in the minors this year, either: through Friday, he’s batting just .213/.257/.291 with eight extra bases, 11 RBI, and a .549 OPS across 136 plate appearances.
Yesterday’s news about the arrest of Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez was pretty disturbing. Today’s update from Jeff Passan of ESPN is even worse.
Vázquez has been charged with solicitation of a child and providing obscene material to minors, and yesterday’s report said that he texted a 15-year-old girl that he would meet up with her after the season for sex. According to police, however, Vázquez had already met with a minor in an attempt to have sex. When she was 13:
Yesterday Vázquez’s attorney, Jay Reisinger, issued a statement saying “We are in the process of reviewing both the Pennsylvania and Florida charging documents, as well as the underlying facts of the matter. At this time, any comment would be premature.”
The Pennsylvania charges referenced involve an alleged statutory sexual assault of a victim who is at least 16 years old by a person who is at least 11 years older than the victim; unlawful contact with a minor; corruption of a minor by a defendant who is 18 years old or older; and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last night that the offenses allegedly occurred on Aug. 1, 2018.
Vázquez is still in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested, and is awaiting extradition to Florida. He was denied bail and was characterized by the arraigning judge as a flight risk. Likely because he is a native and citizen of a foreign country with substantial financial resources.
UPDATE: I had missed this previously, but the Pirates issued a statement about all of this yesterday afternoon: