The Nationals have placed ace Max Scherzer on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to July 10) with a mid-back strain. They recalled catcher Spencer Kieboom from Double-A Harrisburg to take Scherzer’s 25-man spot.
Scherzer last pitched a week ago, when he turned in a seven-inning, four-hit performance with 11 strikeouts against no walks in a win over the Royals. It was another in a long line of gems for Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young winner who may be on his way to his fourth such award this season. The 34-year-old has logged a magnificent 2.30 ERA/2.00 FIP with a jaw-dropping 12.6 K/9 against 1.6 BB/9 across 129 1/3 innings so far in 2019. He’s likely the MVP of a Nationals team that has climbed out of the basement over the past several weeks to grab a 1 1/2-game hold over the NL’s top wild-card spot.
Considering Washington’s place in the standings, it obviously can’t afford to go without Scherzer for longer than a minimum IL stint. Scherzer said Friday his injury isn’t a “long-term” one, per Todd Dybas of NBC Sports Washington. As of now, though, the Hall of Fame-caliber workhorse is in line for a rare stay on the shelf. He’ll be out until at least July 20.