Nationals’ Max Scherzer ruled out of World Baseball Classic with fractured finger – CBSSports.com

Nationals right-hander and reigning NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer had been expected to anchor the United States’ rotation in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, which begins tournament play in March. Now, though, those plans have been scuttled …

Later on Monday, Scherzer released a statement:

That’s bad news for the U.S. squad, obviously, but the good news for the Nats is that, as Scherzer notes, he should be ready for Grapefruit League activities.

Scherzer, 32, last season worked an NL-leading 228 1/3 innings with a 2.96 ERA/141 ERA+. He also paced the NL in K/BB ratio. That Cy Young was Scherzer’s second in the last four seasons. In those other two years he finished fifth in the balloting.

Since the Nationals are very much aiming to repeat as NL East champions in 2017, taking the cautious path with their ace is surely wise. As for Team USA, they also have Chris Archer and Marcus Stroman committed to pitch, so the rotation isn’t completely in shambles sans Scherzer. Also, a new rule allowing WBC teams to use a “pitcher pool” will without question benefit the U.S. team, particularly in the absence of Scherzer.

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