MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Scherzer replaces Strasburg on NL roster

Scherzer replaces Strasburg on NL roster

NEW YORK -- The joy was all over Max Scherzer's face after he was told he was replacing teammate Stephen Strasburg on the National League All-Star team Friday.

Nationals manager Dusty Baker, who suggested to NL manager Terry Collins that Scherzer should be on the team for the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard, was excited when he heard the news.

"I'm excited for the organization and Max is excited," Baker said. "I've never seen a veteran get more elated. He is a good representative to show people what a privilege and an honor it is to go."

Scherzer will be appearing in his fourth All-Star Game. Scherzer didn't pitch in last year's game because he had pitched two days prior against the Orioles. This time, he hopes to pitch one inning.

All-Star Game coverage begins Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX.

"I was so pumped," Scherzer said. "The All-Star Games are so much fun to go to. It's one of the highest recognitions you can get. When I heard the news, I was going to replace Stras ... I was really happy. It's the best All-Star Game of any sport.

"This is a real game where you are going to see the best of the best. ... Something is on the line -- home-field advantage for the World Series is on the line. The pitcher is coming out throwing gas, you get to see the best hitters in the world. It's a real baseball game. It's awesome to be a part of. "

Nationals' five All-Stars

Scherzer is 9-6 with a 3.21 ERA in 18 starts this season with a Major League-leading 155 strikeouts in 120 2/3 innings. Scherzer also has held opponents to a .195 batting average, posted a 0.97 WHIP and on May 11 tied a Major League record by striking out 20 Tigers, joining Roger Clemens, Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson as the only pitchers to accomplish the feat.

Scherzer was named to the All-Star team after Strasburg and general manager Mike Rizzo mutually agreed that Strasburg would not pitch in the Midsummer Classic after going through an upper back strain a few weeks ago. Strasburg will still attend the festivities. The other Nationals All-Stars are Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos.

"With the history he has gone through with the back ... we are looking for him to be one of the horses to carry us deep into the season," Rizzo said. "We felt it was for his best interest and the best interest of the team to not pitch on Tuesday with the recent history that he has had with the back."

Strasburg, a San Diego native who attended San Diego State University, was 11-0 with a 2.71 ERA entering Friday's start vs. the Mets.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.