September 30th, 2012

Scherzer throws again, bullpen session Monday

Max Scherzer threw again Sunday morning, this time a 10-minute session from about 100 feet and with all his pitches. He came out of it feeling pretty good about his readiness for this coming week.

“Everything went well,” he said. “I was able to go to 100 feet pain-free, threw all my pitches and had a feel on all of them.”

As long as Scherzer feels fine on Monday, with nothing more than normal soreness, he’ll throw a full bullpen session in Kansas City before Monday’s game. That’ll be the key to determine whether he’ll be ready for Wednesday (if needed), because the bullpen session is the point where Scherzer felt pain last week.

Scherzer said he’s “more optimistic” about Wednesday than he had been a couple days ago. That doesn’t mean he will pitch Wednesday, but he’s feeling better.

“I’m getting close to being able to pitch in a game again,” he said.

Manager Jim Leyland had already said that the only way Scherzer would pitch Wednesday’s regular-season finale in Kansas City would be if the division race was riding on it. Leyland put another condition on it Sunday morning, indicating he’s not going to push Scherzer to start if he isn’t throwing at full strength.

“We’re not going to pitch him if he doesn’t have his velocity,” Leyland said.

Scherzer said he’ll “let a few go” in his bullpen session to see how his arm feels doing so. But they’re not going to put a radar gun on him or anything like that.

If the Tigers have clinched a division title by then, Drew Smyly will start, allowing Scherzer to prepare for a Division Series start instead. He still might get some game action, though.

“I think we’re going to kick the tires on several ideas on how to get me to full strength for the playoffs,” Scherzer said. “But I do feel confident of being 100 percent for the playoffs.”

Sunday’s lineups: Tigers at Twins

Liam Hendriks allowed four home runs to the Yankees in his last start, and enters Sunday with a 6.23 ERA for September. He allowed four runs on six hits with four walks against the Tigers on July 2 at Comerica Park.

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, cf
  2. Quintin Berry, lf
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3b
  4. Prince Fielder, 1b
  5. Delmon Young, dh
  6. Andy Dirks, rf
  7. Jhonny Peralta, ss
  8. Alex Avila, c
  9. Omar Infante, 2b

P: Anibal Sanchez

TWINS

  1. Denard Span, cf
  2. Ben Revere, rf
  3. Joe Mauer, c
  4. Justin Morneau, dh
  5. Ryan Doumit, lf
  6. Chris Parmelee, 1b
  7. Trevor Plouffe, 3b
  8. Alexi Casilla, 2b
  9. Pedro Florimon, SS

P: Liam Hendriks

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