There are questions about whether Max Scherzer has the secondary stuff to be a front-line starter or if he projects as more of a closer. But there is no question that the rest of the American Association will be happy to see him leave in a couple of weeks as he likely prepares to re-enter the draft.
Scherzer was in control once again for Fort Worth last night in his third start for Fort Worth. He didn’t touch the 97 mph that he has in other starts, but he sat comfortably at 92-94 mph with a free and easy delivery while showing a still-improving slider and an occasional changeup.
“He never hit the big number he hit in the past but his command was better,” Fort Worth pitching coach Stan Hilton said. “All of his offspeed stuff was better. In the outing before he was forcing it a little bit. Last night he was free and easy.”
Hilton said he was encouraged by Scherzer’s feel for pitching. He has a tendency to sometimes drop his arm angle during a game, but last night he caught it himself and corrected it after two pitches.
“He’s starting to feel it and see it,” Hilton said. “He can feel it when the pitch comes out of his hand and makes the adjustment.”
While there are some questions about Scherzer’s long-term role, he’s done about everything the Fort Worth Cats could have asked him to do, and he’s actually been more effective than future No. 1 pick Luke Hochevar was last year. Scherzer improved to 1-0, 0.56 with six shutout innings last night. He’s allowed just nine hits and four walks in 16 innings while striking out 25. Last year Luke Hochevar went 1-1, 2.38 with 20 hits allowed, 11 walks and 34 strikeouts in 23 innings with the Cats.
Scherzer is slated to make one more start with the Cats next Monday and could make one further start if he and the Boras Corporation decide that it would help his draft stock. Considering the fact that he’s shown solid velocity and stuff in every outing, it seems likely that Scherzer will shut it down after the next start, like Hochevar did last year.