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Young D’back fireballer could be sent to Tucson

The Arizona Republic


The Arizona Republic

PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks have a decision to make with Max Scherzer, and it could be a difficult one with far-reaching effects.

Scherzer, the first-round pick who features a sizzling fastball, has started three times as a fill-in for left-hander Doug Davis. He has looked very good.

Now Davis seems all but set to return from a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tucson in his comeback from thyroid cancer surgery.

Davis picked up a win Sunday for the Sidewinders, allowing two runs and four hits in five innings against Tacoma and is likely to join the D’backs during their trip this week to Florida and Atlanta.

What happens to Scherzer?

Does manager Bob Melvin put him in the bullpen, where Scherzer made his major league debut and retired all 13 batters he faced in relief?

That might be the most logical choice, given that Scherzer has proved he belongs in the majors.

But that means someone would have to go. Could it be Edgar Gonzalez? Maybe Brandon Medders?

There are other options, too. Scherzer could be sent back to Tucson. Melvin might hold off on activating Davis and let Scherzer keep pitching in the starting rotation. Melvin isn’t ready to show his cards.

“I’m just not going there,” he said. “We’ll figure it out once Doug comes back.”

The reviews on Scherzer have been favorable. He is 0-2 but has a 2.33 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.

“He hasn’t gotten a win yet, but he’s pitched beautifully,” Melvin said. “One start wasn’t his best, but his other starts were great. His first relief appearance was great. He’s pitched very well. He comes as advertised and with a guy that has had high expectations coming in, I think he’s lived up to every single one of them.”

Short hops

• Melvin decided to give second baseman Orlando Hudson a day off Sunday. Hudson returned to the starting lineup last week after missing six games because of a strained right hamstring.

The team is also off Monday, giving Hudson two days of rest.

With a single in the fourth inning – the Diamondbacks’ first hit of the game off Tigers starter Nate Roberston – right fielder Justin Upton has reached base in 38 of his past 41 games and is batting .326 (47 for 144) during that stretch.

• Closer Brandon Lyon hasn’t allowed a run in 11 consecutive innings.

• Chris Burke’s triple in the sixth inning was the team’s 20th triple of the season, the most in the majors.

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