Max Scherzer(notes) has spent his spring traveling back and forth between Detroit and Toledo, which sounds delightful. As we've discussed before, the 25-year-old was a wreck with the Tigers earlier this season, posting a 7.29 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over 42.0 innings. The velocity of his average fastball was just 91.8 mph, down significantly from prior years (94.2 in '08, 93.6 in '09).
But in two starts for the Triple-A Mud Hens, Scherzer has been nearly unhittable. He rediscovered his fastball after making a few mechanical tweaks, and the subsequent stats have been Strasburgian: 15.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 HR, 2 BB, 17 Ks. Thus, the Tigers have recalled Scherzer for Sunday's matchup with Dallas Braden(notes) and the A's. (Armando Galarraga(notes) was originally scheduled to start, but he pitched 1.2 innings of relief on Friday; Dontrelle Willis(notes) has been DFA'd).
Max's strikeout potential is well-documented, and — assuming he sticks in the rotation — his upcoming match-ups are fantastic. Check the schedule. Following the Oakland game, these would be Scherzer's next six starts: at KC, at CWS, vs. WAS, at NYM, at ATL, vs. SEA. Add as needed. The heterochromatic hurler is 18 percent owned.
Update, 5:00 pm: So that was a useful start. Scherzer pitched 5.2 scoreless innings, struck out 14 A's, and allowed just two hits and four walks. He reached the high-90s with his fastball on Sunday, just as he did at Toledo. Go get him, quickly. Now. Hurry.
Photo via AP Images