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Tigers hopeful Max Scherzer will start Wednesday’s season finale

Sep 29, 2012, 5:44 PM EDT

Max Scherzer Getty Getty Images

Max Scherzer was skipped in the rotation this week due to a nagging shoulder issue, but he could end up playing a critical role for the Tigers before the end of the regular season.

According to Jason Beck of MLB.com, Scherzer played catch today without pain and is scheduled to long-toss tomorrow at full effort. The hope is that he’ll be able to throw a bullpen session Monday, setting up his return for Wednesday’s season finale against the Royals. Justin Verlander is starting today against the Twins and isn’t an option on three days’ rest, even in a do-or-die situation with the division on the line.

Via Brooks Baseball, Scherzer averaged under 92 mph on his fastball during his last start last Sunday against the Twins, down from his 94.2 mph average for the year. The 28-year-old right-hander has a 3.82 ERA and 228/52 K/BB ratio over 183 2/3 innings over 31 starts this season.

  1. craggt - Sep 29, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Verlander is being Verlander. Sanchez threw a 3 hit shutout in his last start. Fister had 9 consecutive Ks in his last start and had his first career shutout the start before that. If Scherzer can come back healthy the Tigers rotation could be scary in October.

    • preseasonchamps08 - Sep 29, 2012 at 11:31 PM

      A healthy Scherzer definitely makes the Tig’s rotation a force in the playoffs. Add in Cabrera and Fielder and the offense should be decent.
      They need average defense and bullpen work to make a run. Unfortunately, both of those are longshots.

      • craggt - Sep 30, 2012 at 12:03 AM

        Detroit defense has actually been better than people think. Cabrera has been much better at third than people expected and Infante has been a huge upgrade over Ryan Raburn. The worst part of the defense this season has actually been the corner outfield positions with Brennen Boesch and Delmon Young (although he’s mostly been the DH for a reason). Now than Andy Dirks is back Boesch is playing less than ever, which is a good thing. As of September 18th the Tigers infield UZR was -2.2 while their outfield UZR even with an outstanding Austin Jackson is a horrible -27. Source here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/a-somewhat-surprising-thing-about-the-somewhat-unsurprising-tigers/

        The bullpen also got a big boost recently with the return of Al Alburquerque who’s picked up right where he left off last season with his crazy strikeout rate. Dotel and Benoit are solid veteran relievers, although Valverde is significantly worse than he has been in the past. The best thing that the Tigers bullpen has going for it is the starting staff. The starting staff eats a ton of innings which means that the bullpen is normally pretty well rested, if this can continue in the playoffs (assuming the Tigers hold on) the bullpen shouldn’t be a big issues, especially with days off between games limiting the use of inferior relievers.

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