MINNEAPOLIS -- Max Scherzer threw again Sunday morning, this time a 10-minute session from about 100 feet with all his pitches. He came out of it feeling pretty good about his readiness for this coming week, whether he starts Wednesday for the regular-season finale or next weekend in an American League Division Series game.
"Everything went well," he said. "I was able to go to 100 feet pain-free, threw all my pitches and had a feel on all of them."
As long as Scherzer feels fine on Monday, with nothing more than normal soreness, he'll throw a full bullpen session in Kansas City before Monday's game. That will be the key to determine whether he's be ready for Wednesday, because it was in last week's bullpen session that Scherzer felt pain in his right shoulder.
Scherzer said he's "more optimistic" about Wednesday than he had been a couple days ago. That doesn't mean he will pitch Wednesday, but he's feeling better.
"I'm getting close to being able to pitch in a game again," he said.
Manager Jim Leyland has already said that the only way Scherzer would pitch Wednesday's regular-season finale is if the division race was riding on it. Leyland also said Sunday morning that he's not going to push Scherzer to start if he isn't throwing at full strength.
"We're not going to pitch him if he doesn't have his velocity," Leyland said.
Scherzer said he'll "let a few go" in his bullpen session to see how his arm feels doing so. But they're not going to put a radar gun on him.
If the Tigers have clinched the AL Central by then, Drew Smyly will start, allowing Scherzer to prepare for an ALDS start instead. He still might get some game action, though.
"I think we're going to kick the tires on several ideas on how to get me to full strength for the playoffs," Scherzer said. "But I do feel confident of being 100 percent for the playoffs."