Tucson Sidewinders pitcher Max Scherzer doesn’t care if he’s a starter or reliever. He just wants the baseball.
“It doesn’t matter what role I have,” said Scherzer, who tossed five shutout inning in his Triple-A debut Monday at Tucson Electric Park. “I can succeed in both roles.
“I want to go out there and pitch. It doesn’t matter what role I have. All I want is the ball.”
Tucson lost 4-0 to Salt Lake as the Bees scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning.
The 6-foot-3 Scherzer, two years removed from the University of Missouri, was the Arizona Diamondbacks’ top selection in the 2006 amateur draft. He was a combined 6-6 with a 3.28 ERA at Single-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile last season.
A confident Scherzer, 23, allowed two hits and struck out seven in his Tucson debut. Scherzer struck out five in a row at one time and threw a total of 87 pitches. He recorded 52 strikes.
“He has a great arm,” said Sidewinders manager Bill Plummer. “He threw some good change-ups and got his slider over, too. He was overpowering at times. He pitched very well.
“There is no question he has big league stuff. He has to work on his command. Tonight, he had great command.”
Scherzer has been the most impressive of the young pitchers on the staff so far.
“There are things I can work on from what I did tonight,” Scherzer said. “We were able to fall into a rhythm tonight.
“I’ve worked out hard all offseason to get myself to this point. I enter spring training physically fit and maintained that through the season. I am going to keep doing it.”