LAKELAND, Fla. -- When the Tigers said they'd be watching the early workload on Max Scherzer, they weren't just trying to sound cautious. They're going to use the extra-long Spring Training schedule to stretch out his arm slowly.
While most of the Tigers' rotation will get to work this weekend, manager Jim Leyland said Scherzer isn't scheduled to pitch in a Grapefruit League game until Saturday, March 2. He'll throw an extra side session and a round of live batting practice in the meantime.
The Tigers have their only set of split-squad games scheduled for March 2. They haven't set which game Scherzer will pitch, but as a veteran, he would most likely be in line to start the home end against the Pirates at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Scherzer, who has yet to face live hitters this spring, missed time last September with shoulder tendinitis and pitched in the postseason with a relatively tight pitch count. The Tigers and Scherzer have both said he's fine, but they're going to proceed cautiously with him this spring, as much for the shoulder as for his extended workload over the last two years.