Scherzer likely to miss Nats’ season opener
Hurt finger shows progress during three-inning stint.
NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer probably will miss the Nationals’ opener against Miami on April 3 with a stress fracture in his right ring finger.
The stress fracture had caused Scherzer to change the grip on his fastball, placing three fingers on top of the ball instead of two, but he went back to his old grip Thursday during his first game action this year, a three-inning stint in a minor league exhibition against Mets Triple-A players.
“That’s the really good news today,” said Scherzer, who struck out five. “It’s good to be back to the normal grip.”
Scherzer threw 35 of 54 pitches for strikes, mixing in some three-fingered fastballs. He had two quick innings but struggled with his control in the second.
Pitching coach Mike Maddux said Scherzer will start for the Nationals on Wednesday against St. Louis.
Marlins: Jose Fernandez was the “probable” operator of a speeding boat that crashed into a Miami Beach jetty Sept. 25, killing the star pitcher and two other men, according to a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The 46-page report included a seating chart that had Fernandez at the helm, based on “physical evidence” collected during the investigation. It also listed drugs and alcohol as factors in the crash.
Investigators concluded that had Fernandez survived the crash, he could have been faced multiple charges, including boating under the influence manslaughter, vessel homicide and reckless or careless operation of a vessel.
Blue Jays: Aaron Sanchez said there are “no hard feelings” after the team renewed his contract for the minimum $535,000 and $304,444 in the unlikely event he’s in the minors. Sanchez went 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA last year, his first full season as a starting pitcher.
■ Reliever T.J. House is slowly increasing his physical activity, almost a week after he was hit on the head by a line drive. House was cleared to run on a treadmill for five minutes Thursday, a day after he rode a stationary bike for seven minutes.
Padres: Cuban left-hander Osvaldo Hernandez agreed to a minor league contract with a $2.5 million bonus. The 18-year-old had a 0.92 ERA in 68⅔ innings in Cuba’s under-18 league last year.
Etc.: Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar was hired by Major League Baseball as a special consultant and tasked with focusing on youth development in Puerto Rico.
Late Wednesday: Ona night when well-hit balls died on the warning track, San Diego’s Petco Park yielded to a hometown favorite. Adam Jones hit a tying home run leading off the eighth inning and Eric Hosmer added a two-run shot three batters later as the United States rallied to beat Venezuela 4-2 in a second-round game.
Jones played at Morse High about eight miles east of Petco Park.
Hanley Ramirez of the Red Sox makes contact during Thursday’s Grapefruit League game against the Pirates in Fort Myers, Fla.