Monday, April 30, 2012

Scherzer And Young On the Edge

By Sean Gagnier

It's no secret that the Detroit Tigers Max Scherzer hasn't had a good start to the 2012 season; his pitching is erratic and inconsistent and on several occasions he has been chased from the game in the first few innings. His performance is drawing so much negative attention that some in the Tigers organization are considering using one his options and sending Scherzer to Triple-A Toledo to work on control.

Scherzer isn't the only member of the Tigers organization that could be seeing change in the near future - Delmon Young was arrested and could be charged with a hate crime in New York City. Just hours after the Tigers landed in New York, Young was in intoxicated front of the team hotel, and assaulted a group of tourists while supposedly yelling anti-Semetic epithets. Depending on what happens in court and what the MLB rules, the Tigers could void Young's contract.

In his first five starts of the season, Scherzer has turned in a 7.77 ERA with 10 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9. Similar to last seasons early struggles, Scherzer has an elevated WHIP, but this season's 2.05 WHIP has just been too much for him to overcome. In April last season Scherzer was named  "The Pitcher of the Month," but his proved that  his record would come back to earth quickly, and it did.

Young was arraigned on assault charges on Friday afternoon in a New York court; while in court Young did not say anything. But he did release a statement earlier that day where he says, "I sincerely regret what happened." He then apologized to those involved in the altercation and to the Detroit Tigers, the Illich family and to Tigers fans.

When Manager Jim Leyland was speaking about Scherzer's struggles he said that "there are always options," and that "he loves the guy, but we need to get him going." With Leyland standing by his pitcher Scherzer could have a few more outings available to turn things around before any one truely looks into sending him to Toldeo, but it is clear that Leyland has thought of that situation and is willing to do it.

The New York court expects to have Young back in at the end of May, at which time a trial may commence, as long as no plea deal is agreed to prior to that date. If Young is convicted of a crime, the Tigers have the option under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement to void his $6.75M contract for this season. He is due to meet with MLB officials within the next few days to determine if he may return to the Tigers or if he must undergo some rehab beforehand.

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