Scherzer likely to miss Nats’ sea­son opener

Hurt fin­ger shows progress dur­ing three-in­ning stint.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - JOEL AUERBACH / GETTY IM­AGES

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.

World Clas­sic

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.

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