Max Scherzer was my fifth and final pre-season pitcher of the future. A 24-year-old with high strikeout rates and manageable walk totals is a gem in anyone’s organization. However, his first stint in the American League started out a bit rough. On May 14th, after a shelling from Boston, Scherzer’s ERA stood at 7.29. His 26K/16BB paled in comparison to his 2009 campaign, and I started to think that maybe the AL was going to swallow him up.
Some reports noted that his velocity had decreased on his fastball, and so he was sent down to AAA-Toledo for two starts to figure something out. In fifteen innings he allowed just 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks. His velocity was back up in the mid 90s on his fastball which, along with his 17Ks, indicated that he might just be ready for another run in the show. Here’s how he’s done since getting called back up:
82.7 IP, 92 Ks, 34 BBs, 2.61 ERA.
I think he was ready. Whatever needed to change changed–whether it was velocity, pitch patterns, or something else. His Fangraphs xFIP sits at 4.04, despite an awful start to the season, and that’s only going to get better along with his ERA. Now is the time to get him in your keeper leagues 🙂
EDIT: I just found this post by Dave Cameron on Fangraphs.