Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland is unsure whether starting pitcher Max Scherzer will be available for his final start of the regular season next Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals. Scherzer has been battling a deltoid strain in his throwing shoulder.
In a report from Chris Iott of Michigan Live, Leyland said there's a "50/50" chance that Scherzer goes against the Royals on Wednesday. If the hard-throwing righty is unable to go, Drew Smyly will take his place. Smyly started in Scherzer's place on Friday night in the Tigers' 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
The Tigers are currently fighting for their playoff lives, as they hold a slim one-game lead over the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central. If the Tigers are in or out of the postseason by the time Wednesday rolls around, Scherzer will not pitch. But if it's a must-win situation, Leyland may be more inclined to throw Scherzer out there.
Scherzer has been one of the Tigers' best pitchers, holding a 16-7 record and a 3.82 ERA. He's second in all of baseball with 228 strikeouts, trailing only teammate Justin Verlander.