LAKELAND, Fla. -- Add Max Scherzer to the list of Tigers starters who began throwing earlier than usual this offseason. His reasoning for it, however, was a little different.
Traditionally, Scherzer doesn't begin throwing until New Year's Day. When he did that, however, his arm would tighten up to the point where he worried about his health. It would stop by the time Spring Training came around, but until then, he felt like it was slowing him down.
"I always felt like I was playing catch-up [in camp]," Scherzer said.
So, Scherzer decided to move up his throwing program. Though the Tigers' postseason run meant he pitched well into October, he began throwing again Dec. 1. It wasn't intensive throwing, just enough to keep his arm loose.
So far, he said, the difference is paying off. Scherzer threw his second session against live hitters on Tuesday at Tigertown and felt good about the results.
"I'm so much further ahead than I was last year," he said.
With his arm feeling good, Scherzer is free to work on honing a two-seamer to add to his arsenal of power fastball, changeup and slider.