Mets' Max Scherzer says hamstring is OK, aims to pitch Friday in DC
New York Mets ace Max Scherzer says his hamstring is feeling much better and that he's ready to pitch Friday night against Washington in the second game of the season.
The Mets haven't yet said who would start on opening day Thursday at Nationals Park.
The news that Scherzer had come through OK in his bullpen session Tuesday morning certainly was a relief to the Mets. The team is still dealing with the recent diagnosis that fellow ace Jacob deGrom will be out for possibly two months because of inflammation around his right shoulder blade.
Mets manager Buck Showalter wouldn't commit to when Scherzer would pitch. But the three-time Cy Young Award winner is looking forward to facing Washington, which traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers late last season.
“Potentially (Friday),” Showalter said after Scherzer’s morning work. “It went good. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. There are parts to this whole thing —– how he feels tomorrow, how he feels the next day."
“I would not pitch him on Thursday. Never was going to,” he said.
Showalter hasn't announced who will start the opener.
“We’ve got a got a couple of thoughts, but we’re not really there yet publicly. We’ll get something out there shortly,” he said.
Right-hander Tylor Megill and lefty David Peterson top the list of candidates among available starting pitchers not slotted into the rotation.
With camp breaking and the team heading out to Washington for Wednesday’s workout, the organization has made some decisions.
Barring some unforeseen injuries, Showalter said he would carry 14 pitchers on his staff, including new reliever Joely Rodriguez, acquired Sunday from the New York Yankees for reliever Miguel Castro.
Rodriguez gives the Mets bullpen another left-hander in addition to Chasen Shreve, a mid-camp addition.
In four Grapefruit League innings, Shreve allowed just one baserunner -- a walk -- and struck out six.
Adding the 30-year-old Rodriguez gives pitching coach Jeremy Hefner another option to work with late in games.
“I feel like I have more an opportunity to pitch because the Yankees had more lefties. Here there aren’t as many, so I’ll have that opportunity,” he said through an interpreter
The Mets expect Brandon Nimmo to be available in Washington. The center fielder has been out a few days with a stiff neck but received a form of cortisone shot Tuesday following an MRI.
Nimmo also had neck stiffness earlier in the spring but has shown signs of improvement, making his availability Thursday a possibility.
“Yesterday there was some doubt, but it managed better as the day went on. (The shot) was just something to loosen everything up. I’m expecting good results,” Showalter said.
While the manager would not commit to saying Travis Jankowski had made the club, he did indicate that the speedy outfielder – who plays all three positions – would be on the roster unless a 15th pitcher suddenly had to be added.
“There’s a reason he’s not making the (final spring) trip today … take any chances,” Showalter said.