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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-10-24

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-10-24

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-10-24
Right-hander Max Scherzer showed stretches of dominance in the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League in October, as he all but cemented a spot in the Diamondbacks rotation for 2009.

Scherzer, whose fastball hit 95 mph even this late in a long year, led the Fall League with 18 strikeouts through 14 games. He had thrown 17 innings in his first three starts, and he struck out nine in five innings of his second start.

Scherzer, 24, was 0-0 with a 4.24 ERA for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, giving up 13 hits, including two home runs, while walking four.

The D-backs have impressed upon Scherzer the need to continue to develop his secondary pitches, a hard slider and a changeup, and he seemed to gain comfort and command of those pitches as the Fall League continued.

Scherzer participated in the Fall League in part to gain the innings he missed this summer, when he was shut down for four weeks because of shoulder tightness that did not require surgery.

With Brandon Webb, Dan Haren and Doug Davis under contract for 2009, Scherzer is in line to be either the fourth or fifth starter, depending on whether Randy Johnson returns.

Johnson, 45, is a free agent after his two-year contract expired at the conclusion of 2008. He has 295 career victories. The D-backs are not expected to offer Johnson arbitration because the award could come in over their budget projection.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: October 24, 2008

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