To call Max Scherzer’s first eight starts of the 2010 season disastrous would be an understatement.  When you are carrying a 7.29 ERA and 1.67 WHIP, there is no one word to succinctly describe just how bad you’ve been.

We can talk about luck (58.0% strand rate), but the fact of the matter is that he just hasn’t been good.  His strikeouts were down significantly (9.2 K/9 in ‘09 vs. 5.6 K/9 in ‘10).  His average fastball was down nearly 2 mph.

Yet, now back in the comfy confines of Triple A, Scherzer looks like he has suddenly rediscovered his form.  Just look at his numbers through his first two starts:

2 Wins
15.0 Innings
0.60 ERA
0.40 WHIP
17 Strikeouts (10.2 K/9)
2 Walks (1.2 BB/9)
.137 BABIP

We all know the BABIP is unrealistic, so I have to take his overall numbers with a small grain of salt.

The numbers to focus on are the strikeouts and walks.  Obviously, it’s a small sample size and he’s not facing as talented hitters, but the results still speak volumes.  Also, it appears that his velocity is back.  According to The Detroit Free Press, Scherzer sat between 92-95 mph with his fastball in his first start (click here  for the full article).

Here’s an excerpt from an article from the Toledo Blade after that start, which may help to explain his resurgence (click here  for the full article).

“I was working on shortening my arm action to allow my arm to find my natural arm slot,” Scherzer said. “I think that made my secondary stuff better, and allowed me to pitch with three pitches.

“I was able to get my slider over, get my change-up over, and I was able to throw them out of the zone when I needed to.”

That was the purpose of sending him back to Triple A.  He clearly needed to work on something and it just wasn’t happening at the major league level.  He’s going to be back sooner rather than later, and you would think with significantly better results if you are to believe these quotes (and why should we not?)

I was skeptical of Scherzer heading into the season, but at this point you can get him for pennies on the dollar (in other words, he’s on the waiver wire in some formats).  Where else are you going to find that type of strikeout potential at this point in the season?  He’s clearly worth picking up for when he returns.

Is he a lock to be a fantasy ace like some had hoped prior to the season?  Absolutely not, but chances are he’s going to be productive.

What are your thoughts?  Do you buy into the correction of his mechanics?  Is he a pitcher you’d be willing to stash?



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