In May, Max Scherzer got dunked in the Triple-A holy Toledo water. Before that spiritual awakening, he had an ERA of 7.29. In 23 starts after that trip, 2.46. Before that trip, a 5.6 K/9. Afterwards, 9.3 K/9. Before, he was hitting 91.8 MPH on the speed gun. After, 93.5 MPH. Before, his fastball was put into play 16.1% of the time. After, 13.7%. Praise the Lord! Scherzer was cured. When he returned from Toledo, the Tigers should have had him punch through one of those life-size, Biggest Loser finale cutouts to fully appreciate the Before and After. You know what year major league pitchers tend to peak? Their third season starting. Know what year Scherzer will be in? His third full season. You old goat, you made me fall in love! Someone get me a handkerchief because I’m going to put it to my forehead and faint. So what can we expect of Max Scherzer in 2011 fantasy baseball?
Not his last 23 starts. That would be too tidy. I’ll take those numbers over the course of a full season; and you know that! But I wouldn’t expect it. He still has the occasional start or two or three where he takes a blowtorch to your team. Usually those happen in May. In 2009, his May ERA was 5.09. In 2010, 9.45. With Verlander unable to pitch in April and Scherzer getting wrapped around the maypole, I’d assume they don’t like the cold weather, except there’s never sunshine in Detroit. In 2011, I could see Scherzer line being 14-9/3.35/1.23/195. It’s a near-carbon copy of last year with a few more innings. What I’m thinking happens is he never hits rock bottom like he did last year, but he also doesn’t throw a 2.46 ERA over 23 starts. Oh, and before you have a chance to say it, yes, I’m liking more AL pitchers this year than usual. What’s it to you?