UPDATE: Scherzer will tomorrow afternoon's game while Drew Smyly will start the night game. If everything goes smoothly, Rick Porcello will start Wednesday against Kansas City. --Rob
Max Scherzer worked out out at Comerica Park this afternoon, 3 days after being diagnosed with right shoulder fatigue. Barring a setback, Scherzer is reportedly on track to start against the Twins on Sunday.
Scherzer left Tuesday's game with the Athletics after 2 innings and 44 pitches. An MRI that evening showed no structural damage. The Tigers announced at that time he would be re-evaluated in a "few days." Apparently the re-eavaluation went well.
Reports claim Scherzer threw without discomfort Friday afternoon and is a positive Saturday throwing session away from taking his regular turn in the rotation.
This is a bit of a surprise considering Jim Leyland told the assembled media Thursday Drew Smyly was likely to start in place of Scherzer and would be limited in his use out of the bullpen.
Scherzer was feeling good after throwing off flat turf in a 5 minute workout.
"I'm expecting I should be able to make the start," Scherzer said. "This wasn't a structural damage thing, this was just an inflammation thing. After talking to the doctors and realizing there's no structural damage, I don't have any fears or anything about hurting my arm any further. For me, right now, it feels like the inflammation's out so my arm feels good."
But what does he need to show the Tigers on Saturday in order to take the mound?
"If I'm able to really air out my fastball and able to throw my off-speed pitches from 60 feet, in my mind I'd be 100-percent good to go. But I really have to air it out, be able to let it fly, and be able to throw all my pitches. If I can do that, I don't see a reason why I shouldn't be able to start on Sunday."
Though encouraged, Leyland added he would "have to be totally convinced" by the Tigers' medical team before he would start Scherzer.
The Tigers' playoff chances greatly depend upon a healthy and effective Scherzer, who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball while posting a 15-3 record since May. Scherzer leads the Tigers with 16 wins and the majors in strikeouts with 224 and strikeouts per 9 innings at 11.284.