WASHINGTON — Max Scherzer can laugh about his latest injury because he knows exactly how it happened, exactly how it will be treated, and with any luck, exactly when he will be back.
“Honestly, I feel exactly like I did after the Miami start when I came out of there. In the Miami start, it was the right side of the upper trap (trapezoid), that C5-T1 spot. This is the exact same thing except on the left side; it’s on the left side, left trap,”” he explained to the media on Saturday. “I hate to sound like a broken record, but it’s the same cause: I slept on it wrong, came in threw, ran and did my workout, and by game time, I could feel everything tighten up yesterday.
“We tried to work on it, tried to get it ready for going for today. It locked up fully and I wasn’t able to go. The good news is, this is the exact same thing, nothing more. We know exactly how to treat it…it’s really the same protocols of everything we did in Miami.”
This is another uncharacteristic injury for Scherzer, who has led baseball in starts in each of the last two seasons. Mathematically, he could still reach 30 starts this season, but the question becomes how the team will handle him, given that he is easily on pace to eclipse 200 innings and leads MLB in complete games pitched.
“I think they’ve scheduled this out so I’d be able to pitch on Friday,” he said, referencing the team’s back-dated assignment to the 10-day disabled list. “Last time I went through this, the last time out I was at 114 pitches. So I fully intend for that to be the case on Friday.”
Manager Dusty Baker echoed Scherzer’s sentiments, saying that the trip to the disabled list was erring on the side of caution.
“I knew something was wrong because usually, he’s not here as early as he was here. Usually, on days when he’s pitching, he shows up here a little bit later but he was here when I got here. So that shows me that he’s either changing his program or something was wrong.
“Worrying is not going to solve anything. Once you know a problem then you need to find a solution. Hopefully, we’ll find out what’s causing this to move from one side to the other side. Hopefully, he’ll be out there to make his next start.”
For his part, Scherzer insists that the injuries are not related or part of a larger concern.
“One didn’t cause the other. It’s the same ailment, just on a different side of how I slept,” he said with an inadvertent chuckle. “It’s just so frustrating. I mean, I can sit here and laugh at it because I know what the cause of this is and I know that this isn’t serious.”
Only time will tell if his confidence is well placed.