Max Scherzer belongs in the major leagues, the Diamondbacks determined, so they moved him to the bullpen Thursday as Doug Davis was activated from the disabled list for a Friday start against Atlanta.
"He deserves to be here," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said of Scherzer.
To create a roster spot for Davis, the D-backs designated reliever Brandon Medders for assignment, giving them 10 days to trade, waive or release him. Medders, 28, was 1-0 with a 4.58 ERA in 18 relief appearances this season, and he is unlikely to clear waivers.
Davis will make his first start since April 8, two days before his cancerous thyroid was removed. He is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in two major league starts, and was an identical 1-1, 3.72 in two rehab starts at Triple-A Tucson.
Scherzer, 23, made three starts in Davis' spot in the rotation after taking over for Edgar Gonzalez, and he hit 98 mph with his fastball in his first two outings. The rookie, 0-2 with a 2.33 ERA, gave up five earned runs in his first start, but did not allow an earned run in 11 innings over final two starts, although three unearned runs cost him two losses. He has 23 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.
"He's going to give us some length in the bullpen," Melvin said.
Scherzer also could be used as a setup man, Melvin hinted, if any of his other primary setup men needs a day off.
"We could use him in an important role," Melvin said.
MARLINS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 0: Arizona had six hits while suffering its first shutout of the season, the first time the team has been blanked since a 9-0 loss to Milwaukee on Aug. 20, 2007. The D-backs scored three runs on 16 hits in Florida's three-game sweep, and they have lost their last six road games while scoring a total of 10 runs. The D-backs struck out 11 times Thursday, 35 in the series.
• LHP Doug Davis is looking forward to his return to the rotation in Atlanta for a Friday start, six weeks and a day after having a cancerous thyroid removed. "I'm ready to go to work," said Davis, activated from the disabled list Thursday. "I'm going to try to go out and keep my emotions in check and execute my game plan." Davis was 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in his two pre-surgery starts. He made two rehab starts for Triple-A Tucson.
• RHP Brandon Medders was designated for assignment Thursday, when the D-Backs needed to create a roster spot for returning LHP Doug Davis. Medders, 28, was 1-0 with a 4.58 ERA in 18 relief appearances. The D-backs have 10 days to trade, waive or release Medders, who is out of options and seems unlikely to clear waivers. "It's not like he was pitching poorly," manager Bob Melvin said. "He was the odd man out."
• OF Eric Byrnes and 3B Mark Reynolds were given days off Thursday while combating hitting downturns. Byrnes, who is attempting to play through injuries to both hamstrings, has 10 hits in his last 77 at-bats, his batting average dropping from .283 to .213. Reynolds is 5 for his last 33 despite a three-hit game Sunday. He had 24 RBIs in April and has five in May.
• INF Augie Ojeda, starting at third base in place of Mark Reynolds, had two of the D-backs' six hits Thursday to raise his batting average to .365. He has 14 hits in his last 34 at-bats while starting games at second base, shortstop at third base.
• The D-backs' hitters were 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position in losing three straight games to Florida; their lone hit in that situation, a single with a runner on second base, did not result in an RBI.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't think about that stuff right now. I just want to be a part of winning ball games here. The big picture is, hopefully, getting back to the playoffs and, for me, being a part of that. I wasn't last year. I've worked extremely hard after two back surgeries and I want to be a part of that."—LHP Randy Johnson, after catching Tommy John with career victory No. 288.
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