Washington Nationals: Opening Day 2017 Roster Projection

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Feb 16, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Washington Nationals teammates warm up during spring training workouts at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 16, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Washington Nationals teammates warm up during spring training workouts at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Max Scherzer

The big question surrounding Scherzer is going to be if he’s on the Opening Day roster because of his injury. The Washington Nationals ace withdrew from pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic because of a stress fracture in the knuckle of his ring finger.

Over the last four years, Scherzer has made no more than six starts in any given spring training. It’s safe to say that number is not going to be that high this season.

The most important thing for the Washington Nationals right-hander is his health. With the other injury question marks in this rotation (Stephen Strasburg and Joe Ross), the Nats need Scherzer to make as many starts as he can.

But, as I wrote earlier this month, the Nats need to make sure they stay cautious with Scherzer. Yes, pitching in a third straight Opening Day would be a great honor, but the organization would rather him pitch in September than in April.

Yesterday afternoon, there seemed to be good news for Scherzer as pitching coach Mike Maddux told the media he would throw off the mound this weekend:

When he’s healthy, Scherzer has proven that he’s one of the best in the game. Any given night that you watch him pitch, there’s a chance that history can be made. Over the last two seasons, he has thrown a pair of no-hitters and has struck out 20 batters in a single game.

However, if Scherzer’s injury doesn’t get better, that opens the door for someone like Austin Voth to make his Major League debut should Scherzer have to go on the new ten day disabled list to open 2017.

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