MLB Notes: Nationals Ace Max Scherzer (fractured Finger) Likely to Miss Opening Day

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer probably will miss the Washington Nationals' opener against Miami on April 3 because of a stress fracture in his right ring finger.

The stress fracture caused Scherzer to change the grip on his fastball, placing three fingers on top of the ball instead of two.

Scherzer has thrown batting practice twice during spring training but has not appeared in a big league exhibition game. He was scheduled to pitch in a minor league exhibition Thursday.

Manager Dusty Baker says of Scherzer's opening-day availability: "At this point, probably no."

"Opening day I'm sure is important to him but not as important as the rest of the season," the manager adds.

A 32-year-old right-hander, Scherzer was 20-7 last season.

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Baker says: "I'm sure he's not thinking DL. We're not thinking DL until that time gets here. If that time gets here, we'll make alternative plans."

MARLINS: Report says Fernandez likely operating boat during deadly accident
MIAMI -- A Florida Fish and Wildlife investigation in the boat crash that killed Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and two other men concluded the 24-year-old star was likely operating the vessel when it struck a jetty.

An agency report released Thursday included a chart listing the "probable seating location of occupants" from evidence collected after the crash off Miami Beach.

Fernandez and two others died when the pitcher's 32-foot boat struck a jetty just after 3 a.m. last Sept. 25. The report says the boat hit at 65.7 mph.

A previous toxicology report determined alcohol and drugs were a factor, adding the trio spent time at a Miami bar beforehand.

Tampa-based attorney Ralph E. Fernandez, a family friend, had questioned whether the pitcher was driving. He didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment Thursday.  

MLB: Roberto Alomar hired by MLB as special consultant
NEW YORK -- Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar has been hired by Major League Baseball as a special consultant and tasked with focusing on youth development in Puerto Rico.

The 49-year-old, inducted to the Hall in 2011, is to serve as an ambassador at events and development initiatives on the island, including youth clinics and tournaments. MLB has been concerned about the drop in Puerto Rican big leaguers: the 17 on opening day last year were the most on opening day since 20 in 2011 but down from a record 53 during the 2001 season.

A member of Toronto's World Series championship teams in 1992 and `93, Alomar was a 12-time All-Star during a big league career that spanned 1988-2004 with San Diego, the Blue Jays, Baltimore, Cleveland, the New York Mets, the Chicago White Sox and Arizona.

He was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and his father, Sandy, and brother, Sandy Jr., also were major leaguers.

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