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Nationals don't expect Max Scherzer (finger) to be ready for opener

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (finger) probably won't be ready for Opening Day, manager Dusty Baker admitted Thursday.

What It Means:

Scherzer continues to battle the stress fracture in his right ring finger that first started bothering him late last season. He's scheduled for about three minor league innings Thursday and will be utilizing a new three-finger fastball grip. To his credit, Scherzer has pledged that he will not miss a turn in the Nationals' first rotation of the year, even if he can't make Opening Day.

numberFire's algorithms project Scherzer to record a 3.14 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 29.9 strikeout percentage across 218 innings in 2017 while turning in a 16-8 record.