- - Monday, July 22, 2019

The Nationals begin a huge homestand Tuesday with a major question mark — the status of ace Max Scherzer.

Scherzer last pitched on July 6 at home against Kansas City. He went on the injured list July 10 and was eligible to come off Saturday.

But that didn’t happen as he is dealing with inflammation on the bursa sac under his right shoulder — though he reported progress after throwing a bullpen session Monday afternoon.

“It went really well,” Scherzer said. “I really want to get started, hopefully, the sooner the better. Bursa is a nasty thing. Hopefully we never talk about this again.”

Scherzer is 9-5 with a 2.30 ERA and has 181 strikeouts, but did not pitch in the All-Star Game with back woes.

“I heard it went really well, also, and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow and we’ll go from there,” manager Dave Martinez said. “If he feels good, then he’ll pitch at the end of this of this week.”

First baseman Ryan Zimmerman went on the 10-day injured list Monday with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, triggering a flurry of roster moves, including the call-up of outfielder Andrew Stevenson and right-handed reliever Michael Blazek from Triple-A Fresno.


Zimmerman has played in just 33 games this season and is hitting .246 with only three homers.

“Now it just really pain tolerance,” manager Dave Martinez said of Zimmerman. “It can go away really fast. It can come back. It can take a while.”
The Nationals also optioned pitcher Kyle McGowin to Double-A Harrisburg and transferred right-hander Justin Miller to the 60-day Injured List after he had been on a rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg of the Eastern League.
Blazek returns to the majors for the first time since 2017 and steps into the middle of a pennant race. 
“It is pretty cool to be here with these guys,” Blazek said. “The expectations are high, obviously. You want to contribute right away.”
Blazek last appeared in the majors with the Milwaukee Brewers, who were 86-76 and finished six games out of first in the National League Central.
“When you get a chance to compete for the playoffs that makes it even better,” said Blazek, 30, who had a 1.74 ERA in the last eight outings for Fresno in the hitter-friendly PCL.

Monday’s game against the Colorado Rockies was postponed and will be made up as a day/night doubleheader on Wednesday.


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