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#pounditWednesday, May 22, 2024

Max Scherzer offers suggestion for how to improve WBC

Max Scherzer looking on

Oct 17, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) has his glove and hat inspected between innings against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning in game two of the 2021 NLCS at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer was one of several top MLB pitchers who chose not to take part in the World Baseball Classic due to concerns about their health, and the New York Mets pitcher believes he knows a way to remove that variable from the tournament.

Scherzer said the issue for him and many other pitchers is not being ready to pitch in a high-stress situation by the time the WBC begins, which was on March 7 this year. The right-hander told Scott Braun of “Foul Territory” that he would like to see the start of the WBC pushed back by a few weeks.

“If the pitchers can get fully ramped up, if you let me get those five or six starts in … start the WBC the last week of spring training once we’ve built up and then run the thing through the first week of the season,” Scherzer said. “Whatever you do with the games, whether you backfill those with doubleheaders or you move to (a 154-game season), whatever the semantics are of solving that. Then all the major pitchers who participate are fully ramped up.

“That’s the No. 1 concern with this and why guys didn’t want to participate. You need spring training. You need to get built up for 100 pitches before you want to step into a game where everything’s on the line.”

The problem, as Scherzer mentioned, is that having the WBC start at the end of spring training would impact MLB’s regular season schedule. MLB is a partner in the tournament, but it seems highly unlikely that owners would agree to shortening the season or playing double-headers to accommodate the WBC.

You can hear more from Scherzer below:

The WBC was a big success this season, but the one thing that is lacking is top pitching. Clayton Kershaw was extremely disappointed that he could not take part, though it’s unclear if pushing the start of the WBC back would have helped in his situation.

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