"It's hard to say right now," said Scherzer the day after leaving Tuesday night's 12-2 win over the A's after two innings with right shoulder fatigue. "Really, I just need a couple days of not throwing, ice and taking it easy. If everything works out with the plan, we'll reevaluate and hopefully I can make my next start."
Scherzer is scheduled to square off against the Twins -- a team he is 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA against this season -- on Sunday. As of Wednesday, he was not throwing, but he said he plans to do so in the next few days. He said after he throws, he'll have a better answer.
If he can't go, the obvious candidate to replace him would be Drew Smyly.
However, manager Jim Leyland said he's not likely to limit Smyly over the next few games as a precaution.
"I'm not worried about that right now. I've got to play these games one at a time," said Leyland as the Tigers battle to make up three games on the White Sox with 15 games left. "I've got Oakland with a lot of lefties these next two days. I've got Minnesota. I'm not going to worry about that. I can't do anything about that right now. I've got to try to win, one game at a time."
Smyly has pitched against the Twins once this season, yielding four runs -- three earned -- on six hits in five innings. He has made one start in the big leagues since July 6, throwing six innings of four-run ball against the Angels.
It's a tough predicament for the Tigers. If Scherzer is unable to pitch, the best-case scenario is that the decision is made shortly and Smyly isn't needed out of the bullpen in the final two games vs. the A's.
The worst-case scenario would be Smyly having to throw a lot of pitches and Sunday being designated as a bullpen start -- unless Leyland would rather move up the entire rotation to pitch on short rest.