02/25/10 5:22 PM EST
Scherzer joins Tigers fans in chat
Newly acquired righty discusses transition to American League
By / MLB.com
Max Scherzer: I started in December to begin lifting weights with total body workouts and progressed with the weights throughout the whole offseason. I began throwing in mid-January to start getting ready for Spring Training. So I really only had six weeks off from the end of last season.
michiganman84: What are some rituals you do in the bullpen?
Scherzer: I have my starting routine down to the minute ... stretching for five minutes ... flat ground throwing for five minutes and 10 minutes of throwing off the mound, which is 20-25 pitches. I really account for everything, including the national anthem.
obar: How tough do you expect it will be facing American League hitters for the first time?
Scherzer: To be honest with you, I really don't think it's going to be as drastic as everybody makes it out to be. Don't get me wrong, the DH will make things harder, but there are some really talented hitters in the NL. So I have experienced facing those type of hitters, so my job really doesn't change.
tangeje: Tigers fans bring an experience like none other; what feelings do you have joining such a rich tradition as a Detroit Tiger?
Scherzer: It's awesome!! Within the two days at FanFest I really noticed how passionate the fans really are. I would best to describe the Detroit fans as baseball purists, meaning they live and die by baseball. I can't say that about too many cities, so I am really looking forward to pitch at Comerica Park.
Tiger_Forever: Have you developed any new pitches during the offseason?
Scherzer: I can't say any new pitches, but I am working on a two-seam fastball, though. I only threw four-seamers last year because it was the only one I could throw strikes with. So I have been determined to add that variation so that I can keep left-handed hitters honest.
39tigerfan: You have been plagued with rumors that you're injury-prone. Why?
Scherzer: To be honest with you, I don't know why. I have had shoulder tendinitis twice in my life -- once in college that sidelined me for a couple weeks, and the other time in 2008 that sidelined me for a couple weeks. I have had extensive MRI scans on my shoulder joint and every time they come back they have not found anything structurally wrong with my arm. Every pitcher gets tired and tight, and I'm no different. So the projection of injury on my career seems exaggerated.
Tiger_Forever: What is your best pitch?
Scherzer: The one that strikes out Joe Mauer.
scherzer37: Detroit is a very cold place for the first month or so. Do you think that the cold will affect your pitching?
Scherzer: Yes and no. I will have to adjust to the cold weather, but I have pitched in cold weather before. So once I get to Detroit, I'll be able to make that adjustment. But after that, cold weather favors the pitcher, so I'm actually kind of looking forward to it.
1206870260: What are you hoping will be your biggest contribution to the Tigers?
Scherzer: I hope I can be a piece of the puzzle that will get this team to the playoffs and on to the World Series.
mw3177: What batter are you looking forward to facing in the AL this year?
Scherzer: Joe Mauer. Here's why -- he's the best, and rightfully so. When you face the best hitter, you find out so much about yourself because that's what you measure yourself against. Last year I had to face Albert Pujols, and that was the same scenario. There's no other way I would have it.
mckibbka: How do you feel about joining such a strong pitching staff? Does acquiring a closer like Jose Valverde really make starters happy?
Scherzer: It's great. Pitching and defense can win a lot of ballgames, so I feel this has a serious chance to compete for the pennant. When the Tigers added Valverde, it only makes winning ballgames that much easier because he can really pitch.
Tiger_Forever: How many days' rest do you need before you can pitch again?
Scherzer: Five days, but I'm never opposed to getting an extra day. It's amazing -- that extra day can really make your arm feel better.
mckibbka: How is it handling a trade in professional sports? Just accept it as part of the business? Or is taken hard since you're leaving a familiar place?
Scherzer: Good question. ... At first, you want to take it hard and it almost makes you feel unwanted. That was my initial reaction, but once I got to talk to Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland, I actually felt much better about coming to the Tigers. As the weeks have passed, I really look at it now as a business transaction, and I'm actually really happy to be a Detroit Tiger. That's not just a cliche -- I really can't wait to pitch in Detroit.
Thanatos: A ton of young pitchers are having arm injuries and Tommy John surgery. What are you doing to keep this type of stuff from happening to you?
Scherzer: After I had the last case of tendinitis, I have really stepped up my shoulder strength program. After I pitch, I will go into the weight room and do about 10 different shoulder exercises to keep my shoulder strong. It really has made a difference, because I was able to make 30 starts last year without going to the DL.
neuticle: With the great defense behind you at third and short, do you anticipate pitching more to contact early in at-bats to keep your pitch count down and go further in games?
Scherzer: It's going to be great to have such a talented defense behind me this year. Pitching to contact is a tricky thing. You can't just lay the ball over the heart of the plate; however, you don't want to try to just hit the corners. It's a fine line, and I'm still learning how to walk it.
kurt32: Are there any pitchers that you try to model your game after?
Scherzer: To be honest with you, I really look at everybody. I try to pick up little things from everybody to add it to my game. So really, I can learn from almost everybody, except those quirky left-handers!
kurt32: Do you have any personal superstitions?
Scherzer: Yes, but I can't tell you. Any time somebody finds out about my superstitions, they quit working.
Scherzer: I'll take one more question.
Thanatos: If you could break any MLB record, which would you like to break?
Scherzer: Most World Series wins. They just Googled it for me, and it stands at 10.
Scherzer: I want to thank everybody for taking time to join today's chat. I look forward to seeing everybody at Comerica Park.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.