The Nationals have placed ace righty Max Scherzer on the 10-day DL, per a club announcement. He was scratched from his start tonight after experiencing inflammation on the left side of his neck.
It’s somewhat alarming to hear that Scherzer again wasn’t able to go after leaving a prior start with neck problems. That prior bout with soreness occurred to the other side of his neck and didn’t prevent him from making another strong outing in between.
The lingering issue is of added concern with the Nats winding him for what the club hopes will be a deep postseason run. Washington is set to welcome back Stephen Strasburg to the rotation tomorrow, but won’t see those two together for at least a few more weeks.
That said, for the time being it’s only clear that Scherzer will miss tonight’s start and one more scheduled outing. The placement was backdated to August 15th, so Scherzer can return as soon as the 25th.
To this point, Scherzer seemed to be cruising to a repeat of his 2016 NL Cy Young Award. Over 160 1/3 frames, he has worked to a 2.25 ERA with 12.4 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. He has also continued the swinging-strike surge he has shown since landing in D.C., inducing whiffs on over 15% of his pitches for the third consecutive season.