Max Scherzer’s spot on the All-Star roster has been filled by a replacement, and Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reports (via Twitter) that the three-time Cy Young Award winner has elected not to participate in the exhibition because of a minor back issue that dates back to his start against the Tigers a week ago.
As Dougherty notes, the injury is not especially serious; Scherzer expects to make his next regular-season start without issue, hopefully benefitting from the extended rest period. The back issue flared up in yesterday’s game, so it’s no surprise that Scherzer and the Nationals will take precaution in hopes that nothing gets worse over the break.
Though he won’t be playing in the Midsummer Classic, Scherzer will still travel to Cleveland to partake in the All-Star festivities. It’s the seventh time that the 34-year-old has been named an All-Star, all of which have come since 2013, when he broke out with the Tigers. Scherzer has been a model of durability in his career, having made 30 or more starts in every season since 2009, and as of now there’s no reason to believe that streak will end in 2019.
For what it’s worth, Scherzer seems to have been unfazed by the injury: he followed up his 14-strikeout outing in Comerica Park with seven innings of shutout ball on Saturday, looking as electric as ever. Of course, that’s easy to say from the outside looking in, and recent performance shouldn’t discount the injury.
Still, it’s promising for baseball fans that Scherzer, who has been an iron man throughout his career, has shown that he can pitch through the injury if needed, and doesn’t expect to miss any meaningful games for the playoff-hopeful Nationals. Washington has ridden Scherzer’s excellence to a 46-42 record that lands the club on the brink of playoff contention. Since a dreadful start that saw the team fall to a 19-31 record, they’ve reversed their fortune on the back of stellar performances from Scherzer and Anthony Rendon, among others.